Gambia: Junctions Turn to Dumpsites


Many junctions in the main urban centers with the Kanifing Municipality, have heaps of rubbish dumped at main street junctions within Serre Kunda and other settlements.


By Yankuba Jallow

These heaps of waste have been left since the nationwide cleansing exercise commonly called ‘set setal’ on Saturday, July 29 2017.

People came out in large numbers to clean their environments but the heaps of garbage were not collected due to inadequate vehicles to transport the waste to the Bakoteh/Manjai dumpsite.

Four days after the ‘set setal’, the urban centres are still filthy with uncollected waste, and this poses a health threat to the population. Government through the Ministry of the environment and the KMC, has declined to explain the failure to execute the timely collection of disposed waste, generated from these ‘Set Settals’.

Heaps of rubbish can be seen in streets in the towns like Serrekunda, Banjul and other areas. At the Serrekunda main market, worms (maggots) and flies are the pests that welcome you at stalls and on the ground especially the various places where they sell meat, fish, vegetables etc.

Residential places and business centres these days remain filthy because of the large heaps of garbage that remain uncollected for days. The KMC has been very ineffective for the past months when it comes to garbage collection. The municipal council has faced a crisis of dumping waste at the Manjai / Bakoteh during the past few months, because the communities of Manjai and Bakoteh protested against the dumping of waste at the site. Now that this problem has been resolved, the KMC should strategies the timely collection of waste after such ‘Set Settals’ to avoid the outbreak of disease.

These days, the terrible odour that blows in the air affects most areas where uncollected garbage heaps remain especially at street junctions on the Mamadi Maniyang highway. This can be seriously life threatening especially to those living in close proximity to these heaps of garbage.

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The Point, 04.08.2017

The heartbeat of our environment has become an eyesore these days as most of the street junctions and outlets in town are inundated with dirt and all manner of filthy things deposited there during last Saturday’s set settal.

Although similar situations were set in during the Jammeh days, the new Gambia under Barrow seems to be aggravating this manner of entertaining filthy and hazardous environment in our midst, as since Saturday we have continued to live with harmful dirt on the streets of our city centre.

When the ill-prepared-for set settal was announced, people who got the news and those who later on caught air of the news managed to clear their immediate environment only to deposit or dump their sacks of dirt and unwanted items at nearby junctions on the main highways off their homes, thereby creating piles of garbage that have been lying down there throughout the week to the detriment of our health and hygienic psyche.

This ugly sight must be cleared and sanity allowed to prevail, for which the municipal or city councils and, by extension, the local government and lands ministry are squarely responsible.

But why are they not, that the people in the communities would have to live with the dirt and rubbish and risk being infected by the foul smell, dangerous pathogens and polluting substances oozing out of the garbage in the localities.

In fact if there had been strategically located dustbins and large trash cans across the cities and localities, with regular clearing of dirt, depositing and piling such rubbish on the streets would not have been the situation. People would have been using those dustbins and trashcans to deposit their dirt and rubbish.

But it seems the government is oblivious of the fact that a nation or society needs to cater for or have sufficient dustbins and dumpsites across its length and breadth where the people would deposit or dump their dirt and rubbish for ‘other use’.

We as a people cannot afford to live without such facilities in our environs, as it leaves much to be desired and tells a lot about the health and sanitary consciousness of our government or better still our municipal or area councils.

So we are pleading with the authorities responsible for health and sanitation and for keeping the city clean that they are duty-bound to come to the aid of the people by doing all they could to clear the heaps of garbage on the streets of our surroundings, and to really ensure our localities are inundated with dustbins rather than with dirt and filth, which are menacing and life threatening.

“Keep the city clean."
The Point