#National News

ESIA report for agric-food processing platform validated 

Oct 13, 2021, 1:28 PM | Article By: Fatou  Bojang 

The National Environment Agency (NEA) with support from the European Union under the Belgian Development Agency in The Gambia (Enabel) on Thursday held a day long validation of the draft Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report for agric-food processing platform.

 

The event brought together stakeholders from different institutions to review, identify gaps and make necessary adjustments to the document. 

Aimed to increase local productions, the new agro processing platform will be developed in New Yundum with facilities such as pack-house that will assemble, sort, grade, package, store and distribute horticultural, fishing and livestock products. 

Dr. Dawda Badgie, Deputy Executive Director at NEA said coming up with a document that looks at all aspects including how the project can be sustainable is very important. 

Also, initiating very good ideas but not considering some issues that are fundamental such as environmental issues according to him could cause future problems. “It is important that this project take in to account those important aspects”, he said.

He urged Gambians to take ownership of the project by promoting local products.

Malick Bah, Director of Technical Services Network at NEA emphasised the importance of the validation, saying that it is a requirement by law to make sure that an environmental and social impact assessment is conducted so that the potential negative impacts of the project could be addressed during the implementation phases. 

“Any development goes with challenges, so if there are challenges in those developments we need to put in place strategies to make sure that those potential negative impacts are reduced and the positive ones are enhanced.” This, he added, is the essence for the environmental and social impact assessment. 

Ousman Jammeh, Country Manager, Muslim Hands said they already have the design done by an engineering company, adding that they should be able to start the construction around December or January.

A lot of work, he added, has been done with regards to the negative and positive issues regarding the infrastructure. He thanked Enabel and the European Union for agreeing to fund the project.

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