Aug 7, 2009, 6:44 AM
National Assembly Member for Banjul North has renewed his call for the
relocation or proper management of the Mile 2 dumpsite situated on the
outskirts of the city of Banjul.
Ousman Sillah speaking recently during a visit to the site, observed that the dumpsite is not only posing serious health concerns, but also environmental related threats.
“I am renewing my constant call on the local government authorities to work with the ministries of Regional Governments and the Environment to find a lasting solution for the dumpsite situated at Mile 2 to be either relocated or be transformed into a proper waste management and recycling site,” he said.
The Banjul North lawmaker argued that the relocation of the dumpsite should be the first option explored by the Banjul City Council and relevant government ministries and agencies.
Ceesay underscored that the relocation of the site is necessary and urgent, considering the fact that it constantly emits smoke and other toxic elements into the air, which he said, affects not only the environment but the patients at the Sanatorium and inmates at the Mile Two Central Prison and other inhabitants around the area.
The relocation of the site, he said, is a matter that should be given top and urgent priority as the smoke and stench that comes out from the dumpsite compromise the health of patients at the Sanatorium.
“It also exposes the inmates at the Mile 2 Central Prison to respiratory illnesses and other health complications. In fact, for me standing here on the trash heap for just few minutes is really suffocating and unbearable, much more for those who have no options other than to stay here and live with the smoke and stench because of hospitalization or imprisonment,” he added.
Sillah observed that there are also some inhabitants in the outlying areas “whose health is equally a matter of concern for me as a representative.”
He thus suggested for an alternative approach ‘if relocation may be a challenge at the present moment’.
“The Council even in partnership with central government could look into instituting a waste management system to recycle the trash for other purposes. Trash is not waste and can be properly managed for economic activities,” he added.
He observed that the old tyres that are burnt to extract iron for scrap could be used for other decorative or aesthetic purposes at parks, public places, or as guards for tree planting which he added, should now be a nationwide campaign of its own to mitigate global warming.
He thus promised to formally take up the matter with both the local and central government authorities for swift consideration and action.
Augustus Sanyang, a resident of the area, who took the NAM around the perimeter of the dumpsite, recalled that there was a time when the Council had staff posted there, who controlled and managed the dumpsite.
He added that at the time there was no indiscriminate dumping of waste or burning of old tyres to get scrap metal, which he observed, contributes to the dangerous pollution of the environment.
Sanyang also called on the Council to come up with a reasonable plan for the effective management of the dumpsite, ‘if relocating it will be a challenge’.