By Buba Gagigo
Lord Mayor of Kanifing Municipality, Talib Ahmed Bensouda has again appealed to the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government to allocate his council a land for use as dumpsite in order to close Bakoteh dumpsite.
“Over the past 3 years, I have written to the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government, appealing for action to identify an alternative site, within the Greater Banjul Area, for the development of a sanitary landfill, in order to enable the complete closure of Bakoteh dumpsite,” he said at a press conference on Monday.
Bensouda said waste management is not a political issue, but national, while re-appealing to the ministry to immediately address his council’s plight.
This recent appeal by the KM Mayor followed the alleged setting on fire of Bakoteh dumpsite, last week.
Reacting to Mayor’s remarks, Buba Sanyang, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Lands acknowledged receiving letters from Kanifing Municipal Council [KMC].
“It’s true the council [KMC] wrote to the ministry, as result, we set up a task force. We started working on the issue, and we are still working on it to have it resolved, and have these lands. But then, these are long term plans, because most of these lands are far from these councils [Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), Brikama Area Council (BAC), and Banjul City Council (BCC)] and we are looking at the possibility of seeing how these sites, when they are acquired, [will be] protected.”
Giving the origin of Talib’s appeal, P.S told Kerr Fatou that his ministry in the past had an engagement with the Chief Executive Officers of KMC, BAC, and BCC and suggested to them [councils] to write a request letter for alternative dumpsite.
Sanyang further disclosed the progress his ministry made on the matter.
“These three sites were brought to us. We sat down with the technical team, the CEOs, and we told them that the three sites look ideal. We will do two things- one is, will try to demarcate the area, and also we will create a border around the area. So that residences will not come closer to the dumpsite in the future. So these were the actions we took, and then we said to them again that we have to go through the land auction process and we also have to send these for environmental assessment.”
Considering the smoke which the Bakoteh dumpsite emits anytime it is on fire; or the foul odour it releases often, the news of its relocation will be highly welcomed by residents of the community and environments.