25 February 2013

Gambia: Jallom Jabang Chides the Plastic Bag Menace Can Gamplast Be the Solution to Plastic Waste?


Littering of plastic waste has become a huge problem for the environmentalist and the polluting of the environment. The country has come up with the anti-littering law which has a fine of D1000- D5000 for anybody found wanting or liable.

In the Kanifing Municipality, littering of plastic bags has become the order of the day.

As even the gutters that are meant for the discharging of rain water are now packed with plastic waste especially in Westfield.

In an interview with Mr. Muhammed Jallom Jabang, senior programme officer environmental quality, National environmental agency, who doubles as the chairperson of national task force on plastic waste management said, if there is any substance that should pass through the gutters is the rain water. "If anybody found caught discharging water in the gutters, he/she could be charged", He warned.

"At Westfield, we don't have the capacity to guard/ prevent people from littering in the streets/gutters because we did not have the human resources. At some point we provide the KMC youths with logistics/ trucks to clean the streets and the gutters", Mr. Jabang explained to this reporter.

Jabang went on to expound that covering the gutters is not the solution; that even if that is done that would not prevent them from littering within the gaps. He opined that the best thing is for people to develop positive attitude towards the environment.

As the chairperson of national taskforce on plastic waste, Mr. Jabang said "we have organised several meetings with plastic manufacturers and water producers to look at the ways and means of protecting the environment through sustainable and environmental friendly initiatives and he said they have agreed that they want to use a unique scheme for the Gamplast, to come up with that will contribute to the cleanliness and plastic free environment. He said the project is about recycling the plastic bags; that the machine has already been bought and project and they have applied for a land to construct the recycling plant which is in process",. He explains.

He said this would boost production as these plastics can be recycled into other materials and people who will want to venture in the collection of plastics or as dealers can have a decent way of living.

Mr. Muhammed Jallom Jabang said they reason he calls it a unique venture is because many countries have banned the plastics bags but for the Gamplast they want it recycle. He said they have also agreed that the printers/ importers and manufacturers of these plastics should contribute to the cleaning of the environment by providing bins at different locations for the collection of these plastics, since they contribute to the polluting of the environment.

Mr. Jabang said through this initiative they would dedicate week-long programme for awareness creation including the media. "We will have a theme on problems of plastic waste, how to properly managed it and celebration of Gambia no plastic day", advanced Mr. Muhammed Jallom Jabang, senior programme officer environmental quality, National environmental agency.

During this event, he said they would advocate for picking plastics all over and it will be kept at Bakoteh temporally. He said it is supposed to be a transit point for Tambana.

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