Golden Lead in Gunjur is the equivalent of Julakay Enterprise in Faraba
Focus on Wildlife, Disasters, and Environment
Golden Lead Import and Export Company in Gunjur accused of environmental pollution Golden Lead is the equivalent of Julakay Enterprise in Gunjur, Kombo South. Unscrupulous businessmen and investors using their money, influence and connection to the higher authorities to disrespect the basic fundamental human rights of our local communities, robbing them their resources, threatening their livelihood and above all violating our national environmental laws with impunity.
This has to stop immediately and our Govt must endeavor by all means to disassociate themselves with such dishonest people for the sake of national stability and better environmental protection for the present and future generations. Most of these so-called investors are up to no good, only their selfish and individual interest at the expense of the lives and livelihood of our poor communities. If you do not hailed from a poor family or poor community you will never understand the plight and frustrations of the community who are standing up against environmental injustice.
Majority of us, including those in public offices today, our parents paid our school fees from the very resources that the investors are exploiting in our country. Don't we sit back and carefully think and considered some of the decision we make that affects our citizens?? How can we maintain the sustainability of these resources, if we keep breaking the laws that are enacted by our National Assembly to protect us?? Sadly, in Gambia Civil Service, if you are honest, hardworking and straightforward, your colleagues will isolate you, you become their enemy, they call you names and sometimes being subjected to nepotism. Everybody is finding ways to fill their pockets, even if it means compromising our national laws or sacrificing the lives and livelihood of the poor communties. Where is patriotism here? where is the loyalty and promise we made to uphold those public positions with integrity and professionalism? One thing for sure, nothing lasts forever and Allah is not a sleeping God, anything we do while in power- good or bad, we will be accountable for every butut we accept and not yours in this world and hereafter. We can remain silent, if we want but does that help our nation, especially when you know what is happening is total injustice, callous and detrimental to the natural resources which belongs to all, including those yet to be born?? We need young, educated, fearless and honest citizens to salvage our great nation called The Gambia. It's not a rocket science, we are less than 2 million people, our ocean and marine resources are enough to feed us and build our country. Live within your means and stop stealing from the poor. Don't think about your family and children alone, think about others. Unless we have this discipline in our system, our country will continue to wallow in poverty. The Faraba incident is totally unfortunate and it could have been avoided if there was timely intervention after the first clashes between the community and the PIU! In addition, there is a strong similarities between the Faraba incident and what is currently happening in Gunjur and Sanyang- the underlying causes are all the same! Simply environmental injustice, and intimidating and harrassing poor and defendless local community. Currently, environmental activists in Gunjur are being dragged to Brikama Magistrate Court for removing a waste pipe that was illegally installed by Golden Lead to discharge in the ocean; peaceful protesters were arrested and detained at Brusubi Station and now plain cloth officers searching house of one of the activists. These are all attempts to intimidate and silence the community but it's not the long term solutions to the problem. Chinese investors cannot have more rights than the citizens over their land and right to safe environment and livelihood. We applauded the visit of HE Barrow and his executive to console the families of the victims and the entire community in this difficult times. I hope the President will consider making a visit to Gunjur and set those activists free! It's clear that Gunjur is unsettled and something must be done to resolved the matter amicably. We all learned a lesson, and this is the perfect opportunity to call for general population including businessmen to respect our environmental laws and follow the right procedures rather than bribing or corrupting public officials and institutions to favour their illegal activities which are incompatible with our environmental laws. Local communties are now fully aware of their basic fundamental human rights (right to safe environment and better livelihood), therefore nobody, including the Govt and politicians will be able to fool them. Finally, Hon Lawyer Darboe, you have all reasons to visit Gunjur, because your supporters are waiting for your timely intervention but you are Missing In Action.. also the Majority leader and Councilor are not responsive to the situation and we can all understand why!! If you don't go now.. tomorrow might be difficult for you. I am pretty sure you are aware of what is going on.. it's wrong and something must be done immediately even if you will loose some of your good friends ( am sure you know what I mean). May Allah forgive the souls of the Faraba victims. Your sacrifice will not go in vain, infact Gambians are now becoming more aware of environmental issues now than ever before, and your stand to defend your community contributed alot to this awareness. We will continue, until we meet again.
Editors’s note: Famara Drammeh is a native of Brufut, with 20 years experience working for the government of Gambia at the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management and National Environment Agency. He completed certificate and diploma courses in wildlife management at College of African Wildlife Management in Tanzania from 1997-2000. Famara went on to obtain his Masters degree in Biodiversity and conservation at the University of Roehampton, UK in 2003/4. He is also a United Nations fellow on Climate Change and Law of the Sea.
Views expressed herein are those of the author and does not necessarily represents the views of Gunjur News Online.