Gambia: Faraba Commission - Visit to Sanyang Mining Site

The Faraba Banta Commission of Inquiry yesterday August 9th 2018, visited Sanyang to dialogue with the VDC and the council of elders, and to visit mining sites.

Commission Chairperson Emmanuel Joof informed the gathering about the reasons of the Commission's establishment by the President.

On his part, the Alkalo of the village said whatever they do, they make sure it is transparent. On sand mining, the Alkalo said 90% of sand used for construction, comes from Sanyang; that the access road used by the truck to get sand, is causing damage to their environment; that the truck drivers kill their animals along the access road way to the sand quarry.

Jassey, an environmental activist and member of the Sanyang VDC, said heavy mineral sand is mined in Sanyang; that this has been going on since colonial era, without any benefit for villagers.

The Chairperson of Sanyang VDC Lamin Bojang, said they had a meeting with the Geology department and were told that mining has been taking place in Sanyang for a long time now; that the village cannot be given cash but will supported with development projects; that they were further told there is an act that regulates sand mining, and this indicates that the depth of the mining should not be more than six feet. Bojang said such is not happening in Sanyang.

He explained that they had several meetings with the Geology Department one of which was conducted on the 16th of April 2018, where they lodged their complaints; that they were told at this meeting, that their problems will be remedied; but that up to the time he was speaking, nothing was done by the said Department. He put it to Commissioners that sand miners move pegs to expand the allocated site given to them, after reaching their limits.

Neneh Cham, the Vice Chairperson of the Commission adviced the VDC and Council of Elders, to be in good terms to avoid friction or conflict amongst themselves; that consultation is the highest esteem of communication which should be established between every VDC and Council of elders.

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