17 January 2019

Gambia: NEA Meeting With Sanyang Villagers, Nessim Factory Postponed

The people of Sanyang expressed disappointment on why officers of the National Environment Agency (NEA) did not turn up for the third time to a meeting on Tuesday January 15 2019, set up by the Agency between villagers and Nessim Fishmeal Factory.

Lamin Bojang, the Chairperson of the Village Development Committee (VDC), said they have waited for officials from the NEA for hours to turn up to the said meeting to no avail; that even though they do not know the agenda of the said meeting, they have a lot to tell the NEA authorities.

"We want development but only when it does destroy our environment," Bojang told this reporter.

Lamin Jabang who deputised for his father Jabero Jabang, the Alkalo, said the meeting is important for the community of Sanyang.

He however expressed disappointment that the NEA did not attend the meeting which they themselves proposed; that they received a phone call from one officer at the Environment Agency who said they were informed by the Governor of West Coast Region Bakary B. Sanyang not to hold the meeting, because of his own meeting with Chiefs and the Alkalos of the Region.

Modou Bojang, the Councillor of Sanyang Ward said he received a letter from the NEA to attend the Sanyang meeting; that they could have been in a better position if NEA attended the meeting pertaining to what is happening in Sanyang for months now, concerning the fishmeal factory; that he has tried many avenues to maintain peace and stability in Kombo South. "As an elected member that is what is expected from us is to stand by our people and fight for their rights," he said.

Lamin Jawla, owner of Rainbow Beach Bar and Restaurant, said the message he wants to convey to the President and all the authorities concerned, is that Nessim Fishmeal Factory destroys their environment especially their farmlands, the air they breathe and the women's gardens. "All we have to build is our horticultural lands, our environment, our sea and air. Why is Government encouraging such investors who do not care about our environment?" he asked.

Badara NK Bajo, deputising for the Chief of Kombo South Lamin S. Darboe, said he will use the opportunity to advise the youth to respect the Laws of the land; that even though the NEA was not present, the world is already aware of what is happening in Sanyang through social media. He urged Government to listen to voices of the people.

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