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Abubacarr Touray: Sand Mining Threatens Women Gardeners’ Livelihoods in Gunjur Village

Monday 21 September | Yero S.Bah

Abubacarr Touray: Sand Mining Threatens Women Gardeners’ Livelihoods in Gunjur Village


The intensification of sand mining in Kombo South, particularly in Gunjur and the satellite villages in recent years is exposing women gardeners to severe economic hardship, environmental activists have warned.


According to commentators, the rapid expansion is largely due to the high demand of sand for construction purposes due to profusion of real estate companies in Kombo South and North settlements.

Effects of sand mining in Gunjur

Abubacarr Touray, a native of Gunjur and a final year student at the Gambia College doing his advanced Diploma Secondary in Science and Mathematics has conducted a research on sand mining activities and its potential harm to women gardeners.


He said his thesis seeks to better understand the effects of sand mining in Gunjur saying these activities have created huge negative impacts on the lives of women-gardeners.


“These sand miners would threaten our women gardeners to leave the areas or face forceful evictions.” he added.

Mr. Touray explained that the affected women have been gardening in these lands for decades and it is their only source of livelihood, saying in fact these sand mining companies would lie to these poor women by promising them compensations which they never honor whilst some miners would even evict these women from their gardens with little or no compensation.

Abubacarr Touray conducted a research on sand mining activities and its potential harm to women gardeners in Gunjur

He added: “Even my mother who has been using her garden for decades has been affected by these sand mining companies.”


He accused the government of the Gambia of not doing enough to address the issue , adding that these companies usually never rehabilitate this environment and it is compromising the environment of Gunjur and its surroundings.


He noted that his findings indicated sand mining has been happening in that zone since the late 90s and it is rapidly expanding in recent years due to a booming business in the construction industry in the Gambia coupled with population growth.

He mentioned that, the sand mining activities are heavily concentrated in places like Kachumeh, Sambouya, and Gunjur villages especially in ‘Jujubaa or Nyabada’ saying such harmful activities have been ongoing for decades now nonstop.


He narrated that, according to his findings, these companies are owned and operated by Gambians citing a company like ‘Unity Mining Company’ which is owned by Gambians, adding that mining is permitted by laws of the Gambia but it should be done the right way and environmental factors must be observed along the process. “The topography of these areas is almost damaged as huge ponds have been created by these activities.” he added.


The final year Science Student said that, these ponds or ditches created by the sand mining activities are infested by wild reptiles which always threaten women gardeners as it renders the areas insecure for these poor women, adding that ‘kabilos’ syndrome makes matters more complicated to resolve issues in Gunjur village.


He noted that one of his next moves would be to share his recommendations with the relevant authorities for possible solutions.


Mr. Touray strongly believes that, Gambian women should be empowered by all but especially the government as he believes that women are mostly vulnerable.

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