Gambia: No dumping at Bakoteh Dumpsite, say protesters

Protesters calling for a stop to dumping refuse at the Bakoteh dumpsite, Gambia, Westafrika.

Protesters from the communities of Bakoteh, Manjai and environs yesterday staged a peaceful demonstration calling for a stop to dumping refuse at the Bakoteh dumpsite.

The protesters started their demonstration at the Bakoteh dumpsite and marched through Serrekunda to Westfield Junction holding banners saying: ‘’STOP THE DUMPING, #BAKOTEH MANJAI HAS DECIDED NO DUMPING’’.

Jalikunda Saidykhan, a resident of Manjai, lamented the unhealthy and unbearable situation in their surroundings because of the dumpsite, claiming it could even cause diseases such as cancer and tuberculosis.

‘’We would like the government to stop this dumpsite, as soon as possible, as it is very unhealthy for all the inhabitants, especially the SOS Children Community who live just a stone’s throw away.

Just last week, a serious accident occurred along the highway because of the heavy smoke, which is predominantly hovering over the surroundings of the dumpsite,’’ she added.

Musa Ceesay, another resident of the area, called on the new government to close the dumpsite for the good of people living nearby, and members of the general public at large who ply the SOS highway on a daily basis.

“We are tired! We want the government to help us; at least to relocate this dumpsite. In all the 23 countries I have ever travelled to, so far, I have never seen a dumpsite in the centre of the town like this.’’

Abubakarr Jeng and Alieu Ardo both expressed similar sentiments about the dumpsite, saying it should be closed and the refuse dump relocated to avoid further damage to biodiversity in the area.

It would be recalled that a couple of years back, KMC and the JMP Company Limited, an Italian-based company, signed the Bakoteh dumpsite project to rehabilitate the dump.

However, that deal or any of such still remains to be seen realised.


Author: Mahamadou Camara