Tribute to Yusupha Touray
By Ahmed Manjang:
My Yusupha Touray; an environmental icon and public relations officer for Mandinaring Village Development Committee is no more. Mr Touray met his untimely death in a tragic freak electricity accident on Tuesday, February 11th 2020 in Mandinaring, two others of his colleagues are recovering in critical conditions at the Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul.
According to reports coming from the village, an electrical pole was knocked down by a petrol tanker belonging to Jah Oil; the incident plunged the entire town into a complete blackout. Out of concern, Mr Touray mobilised a few youths to go and erect the electric pole so that power can be restored quickly.
They dug the hole already, then he and two other guys decided to get into the hole to find out whether it was deep enough for the pole, oblivious to the fact that a live electrical wire was exposed as a result of their activity.
After ascertaining the depth of the hole, they picked the pole and put it into the hole when it came in contact with the live wire which sent a surge of electricity through the pole and electrocuted him and two of his colleagues. Mr Touray died soon after the incident, and the other two victims are in critical but stable condition at the hospital.
On a personal level, I am devastated by the sudden death of Yusupha. I never met him in person, but in the past few months, I worked very closely with him to make sure the Chinese owned Sunny Sludge Recycling Factory in Mandinary put mechanisms in place to stop the Sulphur Dioxide pollution the village and the surrounding community had been experiencing for the past ten years.
Yusupha Touray can be seen in this video interview by Paradise TV on 18th January 2020
Thanks to his unrelenting effort and the support of the VDC, the factory was finally closed on the 24th of January 2020. As a trained public health officer, Mr Touray was well aware of the long term health effects of Sulphur Dioxide pollution, and this drives his passion, he worked very hard for making sure the factory improve conditions or close altogether and with the support of the entire community, they succeeded.
Mr Touray’s untimely death is a significant loss to his village, the country at large, and he was a very passionate and resourceful young man. He was just 32 years old; he left behind a young wife and a little boy. My sincere condolences to his family and the entire Mandinary community. May Allah have mercy on his gentle soul. Amen
Yusupha Touray with his young son