#Article (Archive)

Fertilizer Commission continues

Dec 12, 2011, 12:44 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

The fertilizer commission on Friday continued its sitting at the High Court premises in Banjul.

Elizabeth Jobe, the chief accountant at the Ministry of Agriculture, who was recalled by the commission, told the body that she did not know the proprietor of Tillingo Company.

She added that she could not remember a person who collected a cheque from her in connection with the fertilizer evacuation.

Dawda Badjie, senior environmental impact access programme at the NEA, also gave evidence and told the commission that the NEA had a laboratory for testing of chemical.

Badjie added that the head of the section is Alieu Sallah, who was out of the jurisdiction on official mission.

“If you test a chemical, you will be able to know what ingredient it contains and what impact does that chemical have on the environment,” he said, stating that NPK fertilizer comprises three different ingredients.

“The fertilizer itself is a chemical and if the NEA is given such a fertilizer they would conduct test on it in order to assess it chemical contents so as to know whether it would have a long term effect on the environment or not,” Mr Badjie noted.

He added: “If you dig and buried such a quantity of fertilizer it could result in the outbreak of disease and it may also have a serious consequence on the lives of the people because it could result to serious loss of lives.”

Mr Badjie revealed that the NEA works as the coordinating agency for all environmental related issues with all departments in the country, maintaining that the longer the buried fertilizer stayed underground, the more it could produce dangerous effect to the underground water.

Such a situation would have serious effects on the lives of the people even if it doesn’t happen now, the future generation would pay the price.

The witness told the commission that the best way to handle such a fertilizer was either to return it where it came from or to recycle it, since “the fertilizer was not good”.

 The commission then made a recommendation for both the executive director of the NEA, Modou Sarr, and the technical director of the NEA, Alieu Sallah, to appear before the commission to seek their advice on how to get rid of the fertilizer.

 The commission continues sitting on Monday.