Gunjur vows action, as Chinese environmental degradation worsens
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
By Sainey Darboe:
Amid wide-spread horror over environmental degradation perpetrated by Chinese-owned Golden lead company in Gunjur, youth, community and opinion leaders of the sprawling coastal town have vowed to take decisive action in the face of executive and judicial paralysis.
The declarations and calls to action come hard on the heels of emerging, graphic pictures of destruction and erosion on Gunjur beach which has been the source of years-long tensions between the community and Chinese-owned company.
Lamin Jassey, a community youth leader could only describe his assessment of the state of the beach in superlatives, while making a clarion call to action.
“It was our worst experience ever earlier today. While we were trying to take some good photographs to show the exact situation at our own beach, some undesirable elements from our community influenced those carrying fish basket to throw fish at us as they were in protest against us for taking pictures. We have to come together and act now. If not, we will be foreigners in our own community. Enough is enough!”.
UK-based social justice activist and commentator, Lamin Darboe decries the situation, but is quick to chalk it up to dearth of unity in Gunjur. His words:
“It's a pity really that Gunjur is powerless in front of such extensive environmental menace the extent of which is unbearable and unquantifiable.
Gunjur cannot help itself because a house visibly divided is a house primed to fall. Berending usurped our land and they are rejoicing while we are crying defencelessly because we are divided. The Chinese are audaciously sticking their fingers into our eyes, we are again so feeble to defend our beach because we are divided.When shall these provocations stop. Perhaps we have appeal to Sukuta to come to our defence. Enough is enough”.
For Saudi-based Scientist Ahmed Manjang, the taint of political affiliation has doused the support of activists in their efforts to alleviate the environmental hazards confronting Gunjur.
“As long as people continue to accuse us of being political vandals we shall remain divided, that is the sad fact. You can't tell me our MP cannot influence the Parliament to do the right thing about this simmering land issue? If we say that you think we are begrudging your MP. That is sad and self-defeating. What has party politics done for us?”