NEA boss says no compromise on environmental depletion

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Executive Director of the National Environment Agency (NEA) said depletion and destruction of the country’s environment would never be compromised, saying offenders will face the full force of the law when found guilty.

Through this new action, both Nessim Fishing and Fish Processing Company in Sanyang and JXYG Aquatic Products Company in Karong were forced to immediately stop operation until their companies are able to satisfy the required set rules and regulations for their operationthrough a written notice.

Momodou Jaama Suwareh said his agency ordered the closure of Nessim Fishing and Fish Processing Company since June 8, as indicated in by condition “G” of their approval while JXYG Aquatic Products Company was given a written notice on the April 17 201 to immediately cease operations. In both cases, all relevant stakeholders working with the NEA were copied to inform them about the current situations.

He said it was illegal for the two factories to operate even before the recent visit and the National Assembly (NA) Select Committee on environment was served with closure notice well before the start of the tour.

Mr. Suwareh vehemently dismissed social media claims that the NA Select committee’s visit to the company led to the closure of the fish processing factories. He said that was contrary to the fact that both fish processing companies had cross the red-line during their last Environmental Impact Assessment and were given closure notice and copied all stakeholders well before the select committee embarked on their visit. “This means the factories should have been closed before the NAM visit.”

He said for Nessim Fishing and Fish Processing company, the Agency applied Regulation 6 of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations 2014 for the factory to cease operation with immediate effect for failing to establish a complete and functional waste water treatment plant to treat the effluent from the plant; and to verify the effectiveness of the plant by ensuring water quality test of the treated effluent of which shall be submitted to the NEA for approval.

“For JXYG Aquatic Products Company in Kartong, they also fall short in meeting requirement in the implementation conditions in Section “G” and “S” of their environmental approval and such serve as breach of terms and condition of the environmental approval granted,” Mr Suwareh said.

He said the company`s failure to install a waste water treatment plant is creating environmental concerns elsewhere like the disposal at Kotu ponds that allegedly affects the biological processes at the sewage treatment centre creating offensive smell that discomforts the neighborhood. 

Mr. Suwareh warned that some of the requirements JXYG Company has to satisfy for renewal of operation will include the establishment of a complete and functional waste water treatment plant, make thorough environmental audit of the plant and submit report to the agency for scrutiny and finally to reapply for an environmental permit.

He reiterated that environmental protection is everyone’s’ business, saying mankind owes the natural world a moral obligation to protect the environment from negative anthropogenic vices because man-made disruptions to ecosystem causes extinction of endangered spices and cause pollution, contamination among other environmental problems that poses serious health threat to both man and the ecosystem. 

Author: Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang