Environment Minister Hon. Lamin Dibba Satisfied with Golden Lead Operations
The minister of Forestry, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Lamin Dibba has disclosed that his Ministry and other stakeholders are satisfied with the operation of Golden Lead in Gunjur.
This was disclosed during an interview on Kerr Fatou show recently. Grilled on what his Ministry is doing to protect citizens from environmental pollution, Mr Dibba disclosed that following the discovery of a waste pipeline from the Golden Lead factory to the sea, the NEA has ordered the removal of the pipeline and subsequently took legal action against the company as a result of the breach in conditions and environmental laws. According to Mr Dibba, the case was withdrawn from the courts "as a result of consultation with relevant stakeholders and an appeal from a delegation of Gunjur elders that the company is employing about eighty locals and that they have no issues with the operation of the factory in Gunjur". As part of the conditions for withdrawal of the court case, Golden Lead was ordered to design and implement a waste water treatment plant to treat factory waste before discharge into the sea within a period of three months. Minister Dibba disclosed that the waste water treatment plant was built within the prescribed period and that the monitoring team of the environment Ministry took samples from the local lagoon, the sea and the chambers of the treatment plant for tests to verify any toxicity of the waste water. He indicated that tests conducted by an ISO certified lab in Senegal and the water resources lab in Abuko both shows that the waste being discharged into the the sea following a treatment by the factory’s treatment plant contained no harmful compounds. Reacting to Minister Dibba's assertions, firebrand activist and Saudi based microbiologist Ahmed Manjang labelled Dibba's explanation as nothing but a bunch of convenient untruths. “Not a single truth in this, if there is a treatment plant at all it has to be last few days, I do not think 80 people are working in that plant”, said Mr Manjang when this medium contacted him for his reaction to the disclosure of the honourable minister. Meanwhile, earlier today, trucks belonging to the Chinese were seen around Gunjur distributing bags of sugar to influential elders and local politicians while Golden Lead continues the systematic pollution and unsustainable pillage of our environment.
Reacting to the apparent attempts to bribe village elders with bags of rice and sugar, Sulayman Bojang, a local environmental activist who was recently arrested for planning a peaceful protest, decried both the destruction of Gunjur's environment and corruption of village elders. "As if destroying our environment is not enough, the Chinese are now bribing our poor elders with sugar and rice to keep them mute and buy their loyalty. This is so sad indeed and may God the Almighty save us." Obviously shocked Bojang concluded.