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Plastic waste a cause for concern

Jun 20, 2014, 12:21 PM | Article By: Abdourahman Sallah

Hello and a warm welcome to yet another edition of Environment, your weekly column aimed at bringing environmental issues into the limelight.

In our today’s edition we try to look at a local media organization called Biodiversity Action Journalists-Gambia (BAJ Gambia), complementing the efforts of the area councils and municipalities in keeping the country clean and tidy.

According to Ansuman Sambou, director of planning and development at Mansakonko Area Council, in an interview with him recently, during the celebration of the World Environment Day in Lower River Region, plastic waste is one of the menaces of our time.

He said Biodiversity Action Journalists-The Gambia (BAJ-Gambia) Lower River Region (LRR) chapter coming with this theme: ‘Eliminating Plastic’ was really timely.

Plastic is everywhere and it is one quarter of waste, he said, adding that its management is very key to human health and the biodiversity of the country.  

“The celebration of the World Environment Day is key in the socio-economic development of the country,” said Ansuman Sambou during the celebration of World Environment Day organised by BAJ-The Gambia LRR office.

The June 4 event was celebrated in a form of a cleansing exercise from Soma Police station to the Area Council head office in Soma under the theme: ‘Eliminating plastic’.

It was self-funded by the organisation and the day also witnessed the launching of the first edition of the BAJ-Gambia magazine. 

He said BAJ-The Gambia is new and is commitment to educating the public on the importance of protecting the environment, which is very commending and welcoming.

He spoke at length on the danger associated with plastic waste to the environment and the biodiversity of the country.

He said looking at plastics it makes the environment dirty and burning them too affects health, and healthy environment is found in clean environment. 

He challenged BAJ-Gambia as a journalist organisation to continue educating the public on the danger associated with indiscriminate dumping, bush fire, climate change, plastic waste and other related environmental hazards.

He said the magazine would help in informing the public on various environmental issues that would be valuable to the people.

Seedy Dampha, Focal Person BAJ-Gambia, LRR, said keeping the environment clean is everybody’s business because clean environment is what brings a healthy environment.

He said BAJ-Gambia is an organisation of journalists aimed at educating people about environment and its protection.

Sulayman Ceesay, on behalf of the National Coordinator of BAJ-The Gambia, said it was very vital for BAJ-Gambia to celebrate World Environment Day, because they are a key component of environmental protection.

The exercise was the first time BAJ-Gambia was taking part in the celebration of World Environment Day, he said, while commending the LRR BAJ office for taking the initiative to celebrate the day in a form of cleansing exercise.

“We all know the importance of the environment and our stake as BAJ-Gambia is to educate people about how to protect and conserve our environment,” he said.

“We are challenging everybody to join BAJ-Gambia to make our environment clean and safe for our youngest generation.”

He said World Environment Day is day to reflect on the achievement and challenges of environmentalists and map out the way forward.

“Environmental protection is everyone’s business; let us all be environmental protectors, not environmental destroyers,” he said.  

He also said plastic waste is very harmful to the environment and the health of the people and the wildlife of the country.

Ceesay calls on the authorities of the region to find time and read the BAJ-Gambia magazine, which has very important information on environmental protection, climate change and other pertinent issues on environment.

“Climate change, bush fire, cutting down trees without planting them all affects our environment. Now is the time that we all should work together with BAJ-Gambia to prevent that,” he said.

Ceesay challenges authorities to ensure the stiff implementation of the anti-littering regulation to prevent people from indiscriminate dumping and other acts harmful to the environment.  

Musa Touray, Meteorologist, Weather Forecast, challenged Gambians to plant more trees in this rainy season, as the more trees are planted the more the environment is protected.

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