‘KMC spends over D6.5m Bakoteh dumpsite’

Feb 3, 2021, 11:53 AM | Article By: Njie  Baldeh

Following complaints by the community of Bakoteh and its environs over a recent fire outbreak that occurred at the Bakoteh dumpsite, the mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), Talib Ahmed Bensouda has revealed that the council had spent over 6.5 million dalasis to manage and maintain the dumpsite, adding that the Bakoteh dumpsite is not only KMC’s issue but the nation’s as well.

Mayor Bensouda was speaking during a press conference on Monday at the KMC Conference Hall.

He said over the past two years, the Council has engaged private partners to introduce formal waste processing at the dumpsite, adding that the council continues to search for fit-for purpose solutions to formalise waste processing on site.

“When I came into office in 2018, I was fully aware that Bakoteh dumpsite was the greatest challenge facing KMC, since then, it has become clear that Bakoteh dumpsite is a problem without borders.”

Mayor Bensouda said KMC is committed to working through the Inter-Municipal Committee on waste management, along with Banjul City Council and Brikama Area Council under the chair of the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Lands, to establish the technical requirements for an alternative location.

“I am calling directly on the minister of Lands to take immediate action to allocate an alternative location within the Greater Banjul Area for the development of a sanitary landfill in order to enable the complete closure of Bakoteh dumpsite,” he said, adding that waste management is not a political but a national issue.

In 2018, the council was honoured to host the president during the annual Meet the People’s Tour for a site visit to Bakoteh dumpsite, and during this visit, the president promised to establish a taskforce to relocate the dumpsite. The lack of feedback and action on this important commitment is of great concern to the council, Bensouda added.

According to him, the construction is currently ongoing for a nine million dalasi perimeter fence to fully secure Bakoteh dumpsite financed by the council’s own capital development budget, measuring 3.5 metres high and 1,770 metres long. “The perimeter fence will eliminate trespassers at Bakoteh dumpsite who post a risk to starting fires on the site.”