The youths who got a police permit to protest on Saturday said the company is destroying tourism in Sanyang, fondly call the “Paradise of Kombo South”.
By Mustapha Darboe
Dozens of young people have gathered at the community’s main commercial vehicle garage to demand the closure of a fish meal company that has been operating at their beach for about 2 years.
Nessim, a Mauritanian own company, was operating without a treatment plant and reportedly pouring toxic waste indiscriminately near the community’s women garden, destroying their vegetables.
However, the National Assembly Committee on Environment, has visited the company few days ago and asked them to stop operations as they worked on a treatment plant.
And three days ago, the environment minister James Gomez, has told lawmakers at the National Assembly that they have ordered the company to stop operations.
The company is currently complying and there is no work on the site as of Saturday but now the community said they should completely move to another place.
“It is not just about the waste. So even if they have a waste treatment plant, the fishermen who come here do dump the remains of fish the company cannot buy on our beach and the stench affect everyone including the tourists. This puts the beach in a bad shape. This is a tourism community, we cannot afford that. That is why we want it completely moved,” Yusupha Jobe told Kerr Fatou.
Jobe is one of the leading members of the community who are championing the show of disgust against the operation of Nessim.
Meanwhile, few notable environmental activists from Gunjur have also joined the Sanyang protest including Sulayman Bojang.
Bojang and 4 other Gunjur activists are currently standing trial for destroying the pipes of Golden Lead, another fish meal factory that is operating in Gunjur.
However, the Golden Lead now has a treatment plant according to the authorities including the National Assembly Committee on Environment.
Jobe said the company should also compensate the community’s women gardeners whose vegetables its activities have destroyed before they stopped.
Also involved in the anti-Nessim movement are “chanters”, a local name for people who pursue tourists on the beach for money.