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NEA checks on major plastic importers, producers in The Gambia

Jul 8, 2015, 11:05 AM | Article By: Yai Dibba

National and Environment Agency (NEA) recently conducted a day inventory exercise to enforce the ban on plastic bags, in the greater Banjul Area.

The exercise was done by NEA staff and director of Intercept Oral Network at the NEA, Momodou Suwareh, the police immigration, customs officers and journalists.

During the inventory exercise 9 places were visited, known to be stores of major plastic importers in the county.

While many have disposed of their stocks of plastic bags, two - Alasan Jallow and Momodou Saikou Jallow - were found with some in their stores in Banjul.

A bale of 1000 plastic bags was found in Momodou Saikou Jallow’s store but he told reporters that those were stocks kept waiting for vehicles to transport them to Senegal.

Both importers were strictly warned by the officers to immediately find ways to dispose of their stocks of plastics.

Speaking in an interview with this reporter at Gam Plash Company, the director of climate Change at the NEA, Momodou Suwareh, said plastic bags are numerous in the country and it was well-known by every Gambian that plastics are a major problem to the country.

He said the indiscriminate disposal of plastics in town is causing serious harm to the country’s ecosystem, affecting the land and agriculture, animal husbandry, aquatic organisms and human existence through carbon monoxide and greenhouse gases.

He also said dumpsites are getting bigger and bigger across the country giving room for more creation of bacteria and pathogens that are harmful to human and animal health.

Moreover, when the plastics are burnt they produce gases that are “very detrimental” to the human health, he added.

Burning plastic bags is negatively affecting the environment because it causes climate change problem, he said.

In The Gambia there so many people experiencing respiratory and cancer problem, he pointed out. “This is all caused by the burning of plastic bags,” he added.

He advised dealers, agents and customers dealing in plastic bags in the country to cease forthwith.