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‘No licence for any project without environment assessment’

May 29, 2015, 11:39 AM | Article By: Yai Dibba

No license or permit shall be granted to any person or organisation desiring to implement a project in The Gambia if environment impact assessment (EIA) is not conducted on the project, an official of the National Environment Agency (NEA) has said.

The EIA officer, Malick Bah, said the National Environment Management Act, 1994 “clearly states the requirement to conduct EIAs for development projects.”

The EIA process involves screening and critiquing the project to see its potential impact and effect on the environment.

The environment act mandates the NEA to coordinate, administer, and supervise the environment assessment process.

Mr Bah said the NEA has developed standard screening form for use in the assessment. The NEA-developed forms are preferred to project summaries that some organisations and individuals used when they want an EIA.

“The forms were developed to ensure consistency and greater objectivity by using questions to cover a wide spectrum and specific points of importance,” he said.

Apart from filling the form, additional information should be provided for projects on transportation, dams, mining, processing and manufacturing industries, waste disposal among others to help determine whether a full EIA is necessary.

The EIA officer said projects that have been assessed in the past and are of routine type may be exempt from a full EIA. In such cases, the NEA notifies the individual concerned and advise them on the appropriate environmental management measures to follow.

He said the actual EIA takes 21 days; however, the period may be extended should the NEA require additional information.

“A fee of D1,000 is charged as the cost of the EIA screening form for each application,” Mr Bah said. “The EIA approval licence shall be renewed annually at a fee.”