Bensouda launches D180M KMC Environmental Transformative Programme

Mar 18, 2022, 1:58 PM | Article By: Sulayman Waan

Talib Ahmed Bensouda, mayor of the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), on Tuesday launched the first ever 180 million dalasis Kanifing Environmental Transformative Programmes. These programmes aim to transform Kanifing into new city.

The EU multimillion-dalasi funded programme will cover a recreational centre, planting of 190,000 trees within KMC, waste management programme for the Bakoteh Dumpsite, establishment of modern library, customer care centre, KMC community radio station as well as park and playground for KMC.

The KMC received this money as grant from the European Union local authorities’ partnerships for sustainable cities 2021 financing mechanism. This grant is an investment in the citizens, business and environment of Kanifing.

In his launching statement, Mr. Bensouda expressed delight for collaborating with EU, saying the EU has been working with his office on this laudable project; an ambitious transformative agenda for the municipality.

“I also thank the Peterborough City Council who has worked with us on this project,” he added.

Speaking further, he said: “Waste management is my priority as a mayor. It affects all aspects of lives such as our health, economy, quality of life and the pride we can have in the places where we live and work.”

Mayor Bensouda described waste as valuable, saying many see waste as unpleasant because Gambians are not managing it meaningfully. However, he noted that over 50 percent of Gambia’s waste is organic and can be separated, cleaned and sold as compost.

“The clear PET plastics are valuable and can be exported, other plastics can be melted and sold as pellets and business can turn them into water tanks. Metals can be recovered and be used in making other metal products such as iron rods,” he added.

He said his office will redouble its efforts to work with the Ministry of Lands and Local Government in order to get a new landfill site, identify and close the Bakoteh dumpsite. He added dumpsites are risky to human survival if not managed well, saying KMC could deliver more than this development in the future.

Alieu Nyang, project director, KETP, commended EU for the support and Peterborough City Council for the partnership.

“KETP aims to use a sustainable focus on new integrated waste management approaches to drive environmental, social and economic transformation in the lifestyle of Kanifing Municipality residents,” he noted.

The project, he stressed, will transform waste management in the municipality from being pollution, health and environmental challenge to become a sustainable economic opportunity that strengthens urban governance.

He said the project would create economic opportunities for young entrepreneurs, develop incubator spaces for digital and circular economic innovation and enable young leaders to protect their environment.

Joseph Borrel, EU ambassador to The Gambia, said the tree year project would help to enhance the socio-economic growth of the council.

He added the project would no doubt help local authorities to purge pollution in the municipality.