Kombo South Development Group Petitions President Barrow
Written By: Gunjur News Online
The Kombo South Development Group has started a petition on change.org to raise concerns about the continued operations of Fishmeal factories along the Kombo South coastlines.
The petition which started about three weeks ago is gathering momentum and gaining nearly a thousand signatures.
The petition: “Stop and close the Fishmeal factories in The Gambia“ calls for the President of The Republic of The Gambia to take action and end the activities of the Fishmeal processing companies to preserve the tourism sector in The Gambia, especially in the Kombo Coastal settlements. Tourism contributes 25% of the GDP of The Gambia.
“The Fishmeal factories being operated in The Gambia at Kartong, Gunjur and Sanyang are not wanted by the people because they are making life hell for the country and the citizens.
The money being made by these factories is minuscule when compared with the TOURISM INDUSTRY that contributes 25% of the GDP which is now being endangered along with the health of the people and the environment by these wanton polluters.”
NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY (NEA) FAILURES
In a update on the petition on Tuesday, the Kombo South Development Group raised further concerns that the country’s environmental protection agency (NEA) continues to abdicate their duties in protecting the environmental laws of The Gambia.
“The Factories keep belching out Gasses and other pollutants, those with breathing difficulties are in real trouble because of these Factories being built right on public beaches. And note the distinct lack of protective clothing and boots, it is obvious that health and safety is at the bottom of considerations. THEY DELIBRATELY AEROSOLISE WASTE THEREBY COMPOUNDING ISSUES.
People are at risk of inhaling aerosols containing pilchard and anchovy fish antigens. Antigen exposures are highest during fishmeal production and bagging.”
It could be recalled that the Fishmeal factory in Sanyang was ordered to halt operations following a visit of a parliamentary select committee on environment, only to resume operations to the outrage of the local community.
Golden Lead Fishmeal factory in Gunjur and that of Kartong both continue to operate with absolute disregard to the health and well-being of the local communities.
Residents have complained of foul stench coming out of the factories during processing periods which is detrimental to the health of the people especially those with breathing difficulties.