Environment Agency (NEA), last Thursday joined the rest of the world in
commemoration of World Environment Day. The highlights of the day’s activity
took the form of a march past from West Field to the environment house along
Jimpex road in Kanifing. It was held on
the theme: Beat Air pollution. The commemoration was sponsored by Karpowership.
“Who is responsible of polluting the air and what are the actions to be taken to mitigate such problems?” Momodou Jamal Suwareh, NEA Executive Director asked, as he delivers a statement at the commemoration.
He said there is no life without air, saying substance is a natural resource that human beings use every day, whether sleeping or not without paying any tax.
Mr. Suwareh said the air is within man’s environment and even though man cannot see how polluted it is, but once its purity standard is affected, it is easily felt on “our” bodies and systems. “But due to its free access, human actions have been a major driver in changing the quality of air, leading to major health implications, discomfort, and stress.”
He said in Africa, researches have shown that air quality in rural areas is generally within acceptable limits, although, there are areas where outdoor and indoor air quality is deteriorating rapidly due to increasing traffic volumes and use of firewood and other biomass as sources of energy in densely populated urban neighborhoods.
Mr. Suwareh said poor air quality has being blamed to be responsible of many premature mortalities and increasing respiratory illness.
He said NEA as the government institution responsible for the coordination and regulation of all environmental issues in the country will continue to strengthen and enforce its regulations to address air pollution and all other environmental related problems.
“My team recognizes the daunting environmental challenges emanating from old cars with high emission, industrial emissions, and open burning,” he stated.
Environment minister Lamin B. Dibba said World Environment Day is the biggest most globally celebrated day for positive environmental action, saying the day was established in 1972 and has now grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations encourages positive action towards the environment.
He said a brainchild of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the WED enables everyone to realize not only the responsibility to care for the Earth, but also reminds people of their individual power to become agents of change. “Every action counts, and when multiplied by a global action it become exponential in impact.”
According to him, approximately 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, with about 4 million of the death occurring in Asia Pacific. He said WED 2019 will urge governments, industries, communities and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy and green technologies and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world.
Yankuba Mamburay, Managing Director of Karpowership The Gambia said his organisation came to The Gambia in early 2018 when their Kara Danish Karadeniz Powership, which has the capacity to generate 36 megawatt of power was connected.
“This was as a result of the power coaches agreement that NAWEC and Karpowership singed, in February 2018. We stated officially generating power in The Gambia on 2nd May 2018.”