Gambia: Is the Minister's Promise Regarding the Bakoteh Dumpsite Kept?


In a question raised at the National Assembly by the Member for Serrekunda Constituency, Halifa Sallah, regarding the Bakoteh Dumpsite crisis, the minister of the environment promised the following:

  1.     Bakoteh Dumpsite be totally fenced and secured from scavengers and by-passers;
  2.     Rigorous security control of the site to ensure that the site is secured from any form of intrusion;
  3.     Bulldozer/shovel vehicle be stationed at the site to manage the daily dumps and tidying the site;
  4.     Memorandum of Understanding between the municipalities and fire and rescue services so that when there is any kindling they should be called to put it off in order to prevent smoke emission;
  5.     Each day’s dump should be spread/flattened and covered with a thin layer of sand to prevent stench emission burning too;
  6.     Bakoteh Dumpsite  to be transformed into a transit point where sorting of waste and recycling can be done for all wastes coming from Banjul and Kanifing Municipalities in the near future; and
  7.     A final disposal site be identified by the Ministry of Lands and Regional Administration for the Greater Banjul Area for the safe disposal of waste.

The minister should pay a visit to the Bakoteh Dumpsite and address what is happening there. It will be a disgrace of the century if smoke starts to belch into the rooms of the SOS children again and the odour choking the people of Manjai with flies swarming their food.

The state has to fulfill its promises in order to preserve its integrity. It would be terrible to have gone through all the storm and stress only to go back to square one.

The honorable thing to do is to put a mechanism in place that would ensure that every word that the minister gave the National Assembly is implemented so that no other smoke or ugly sight prevails at the Bakoteh Dumpsite.

The settlements around the dumpsite should be provided with adequate pipe borne water to free them from water from contaminated wells. The homes of victims accidentally struck by tear gas should be visited and apologies tendered to their members. They should also engage the Bakoteh/Manjai communities to promote reconciliation.