Gunjur Development Association Press Release
Today the Gunjur 6 returned to court to answer charges for standing up to environmental degradation. However once again the case is adjourned and so the accused continue wasting time and resources on questionable charges. Drop the case.
Recap: In March 2018 an event took place at Gunjur beach that left some people with the label of trouble causers and criminals and a court case in action. Leading up to March 2018 and over a period of 12 months Gunjur has been hit with ongoing environmental disasters including fish washing up dead on the shores daily for reasons unknown, malodorous smells suffocating the area, bolong fenyo protected nature reserve turning red and crabs and fish dying, people complaining of skin problems. After investigations from external agencies it was found that a privately owned factory Golden Lead were dumping waste from their factory into the Gunjur waters. The factory was taken to court by the NEA and instructed to stop using the pipes - an out of court settlement was reached between the two parties which did not involve the community. However people felt reassured that something was being done, action was being taken to safeguard the people of Gunjur.
In March 2018, some 5 months later at low tide, evidence was found that the pipes were in fact still in use. People from Gunjur went directly to the factory and asked why the pipes were pumping waste into the ocean, they asked them to get the pipes out within a week or they would remove. People were fed up and mainly people were scared – no one knew what was being pumped into the ocean and whether it was dangerous to their lives, to the lives of their children or parents. So when the people of Gunjur went back the next week, to a public area of the beach, outside of the factory premises and found the pipes still in use it was not with malice and anger that the pipes were removed it was with concern for the health of Gunjur. It’s important to remember that the pipes were being used illegally and no authorization had been given by any Governmental or environmental body. On the day a section of the pipes were removed putting them ‘out of action’ Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh was present, it is fully believed that if he was not there on that day the calm and order that transpired may have been very different and there may have been violence, people were genuinely concerned for the lives of their community. Dr Scattred Janneh spoke with those present, he encouraged open dialogue between all the parties present and most of all he advocated calm. From the approximately 60 people involved with removing the pipe from use 5 people were charged.
Now some 7 months after the event, Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh was arrested whilst attending the funeral of his uncle in Gunjur earlier in October. This action has disgusted many people. Dr Janneh has been coming to and from Gunjur over the last 7 months and has attended many public events. He was far from a fugitive on the run. So why take him from the burial ground in Gunjur, is this to humiliate him? Damage his character?
The Gunjur Development Association stand with anyone who advocates for the development of Gunjur in protecting our community from any destruction or violation of public act in securing better lives and living conditions for the people of Gunjur. Gunjur Development Association demands the government to drop all charges to all the citizens of Gunjur charged in this case.