Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Jammeh must stop destroying the environment and the livelihood of the people of Gunjur

We join the Environmental Concern Group of Gunjur and the citizens of Gunjur in demanding the cessation of the open pit mining practice that Yaya Jammeh and his business associates employ in the Kombos and probably other parts of the country.

The women of Gunjur are being deprived of their livelihood by the sand and mineral mining operations that belong to or controlled by Yaya Jammeh.

According to the Environmental Concern Group reported by the Point newspaper, "[T]he already excavated area drained the underground water from the gardens nearby" thus depriving the women of Gunjur of earning a living off their vegetable gardens. Yet it the same Yaya Jammeh who claims to be the friend and protector of the Gambian woman.

We have argued on several occasions in favor of conserving our local physical environment because of the inextricable link between it and economy and the general welfare of the rural population.

Degrading the environment in the manner and scale that we are witnessing in Gunjur and throughout the Kombos is threatening the economic, social and cultural livelihood of the people.  Horticultural activities of the people of Gunjur and the Kombos have been partially responsible to keeping many families from falling below the poverty line.

The upkeep of the family in these parts of the country depend on agriculture and particularly horticulture.  Therefore, mining activities that have threatened or are threatening the environment must cease immediately if the Jammeh regime is serious in and committed to poverty alleviation.

Jammeh must cease all mining activities until a thorough study is done as to determine (i)  the appropriateness of the mining techniques being currently employed  (ii) the economic cost of the operation to the communities affected and (iii) whether the communities ought to compensated if it is found that they have been adversely affected, financially.