• GunjurOnline

Allow me to cry for the Environmental Destructions in Gunjur

Updated: May 17

By Ebrima Janneh (EB):

Allow me to cry for the Environmental Destructions in Gunjur 


The pictures unfolding on social media detailing extreme environmental destructions happening in Gunjur are disturbing. 


The manifestation of the pictures become even more painful upon realising that they are places I had good memories about - Sibindinto, Nyabaadaa, Wulubaraa,  Bambamboo, Mbeenan etc.


I spent my formative years having relationships with these leafy forest covers, white sandy coastline, shoreline, sand dunes, the 'Tamba trees' etc. To therefore watch my childhood idylls destroyed or flattened into barren desert, hit me really hard.   

Effect of sand mining on the Gunjur coastline

The coastline and the surroundings were our national parks and playgrounds. I played football, exercised and slided on the sand dunes as a boy. I had great memories of picnics on the coastline walking sometimes in companionable silence with friends.


It is therefore, with great sadness, to see that pristine coastline is destroyed and seemingly irrevocably. These coastline and forest cover may never look the same again with the pace of environmental destruction. 


The unchecked destruction of our environment by commercial sand miners and Chinese Golden Lead Factory pollution have stripped the ecosystem of much-loved once beauty of Gunjur.


I will be excused to cry seeing the destruction of one of the most beautiful ecosystems in the Gambia. Our ocean was our community swimming pool that gave us enjoyment and pleasure. The ocean, alas, is not any more safe because of Chinese Golden Lead Factory ejecting unknown  industrial chemical waste into the sea. 


I am struggling to accept that Chinese Golden Lead Factory, Commercial Sand Mining businesses and above all our people in authorities are responsible for forging the scale of such destruction. And without an iota of consideration of the impacts on both the environment and the people of Gunjur. 


I am deeply affected by feelings of loss, helplessness and frustration due to the government‘s inability to do something about the destruction of our environment. However, as much as political leaders and businesses should bear the bulk of the responsibility, individuals should also take some responsibility. 


There are profound risks of ignoring these environmental destruction. The loss of animal species and the anxiety over what will happen next without action. I worried about the hungry and thirsty cattles roaming on once pristine land scrounging for nourishment. 

I cry for the turtles that used the sand dunes for laying eggs. The habitat of the most beautiful birds, the foxes, squirrels, rabbits, antelopes, baboons, monkeys have all disappeared. 


Above all, these wonderful geological landscapes are gone and along with them - protection against flooding, protection against windstorm, erosion, recreation, wetlands, loss of local vegetation, rice paddies, agricultural lands, horticultural gardens etc. I also fear we are destroying our environment so fast that our children may no longer enjoy what we enjoyed when we were young. What a loss! 


Therefore, to mitigate the loss to our environment, we must stand-up together to save it from haemorrhaging from greedy corrupt authorities, corrupt businesses and corrupt individuals. 


Gunjur is left out, we are ostracized by our own government in favour of businessmen and their perks. The burden of our suffering is making others very rich to the detriment of our environment and wellbeing.  


These destructions are unprecedented, admittedly, but I refuse to feel hopeless because individual choices can have positive impacts on the environment. It is thus, in our hands to protect what is left to make a meaningful difference. We can look at our sphere of influence  - friends, family, networks, and influence them into action to save our environment. 


Finally, the time to act is now because if we keep ignoring these environmental damages, we will spend many years, if not generations, recovering from profound damages with severe consequences. 

Editors Note:

Views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Gunjur Online. Got an opinion article? send it to us at GunjurNewsOnline@gmail.com

Latest news, features and opinion posts

NEWS IN BRIEF