By Makutu Manneh
Three administrative councils in The Gambia have on 10th February 2021 launched a project worth 100, 000 euros (which is over six million dalasis) which aims to ensure a sustainable waste management in the Greater Banjul Area.
This is a joint project among the three Councils within the Greater Banjul (BCC, KMC, BAC) coordinated by Mbolo Association and supervised by Metropolitan Area of Barcelona.
This project will be piloting organic waste management, focusing on five (5) pilot council markets.
It is aimed at contributing towards providing a safe and healthy environment that is free of pollution through integral water cycle and the waste segregation, collection and treatment in the metropolitan areas.
Malang Sambou, Chairman of the Mbolo Association, said they visited Spain (Barcelona) in November 2019 and came to realize how Gambia is lacking in waste management.
“There is a way forward on how to treat our waste,” he said.
He said the project is beyond just a launching, urging the councils to believe that it is something possible in their municipalities.
Omar Touray, Deputy Mayor of Banjul City Council (BCC), said most of their council’s money goes to managing waste but they are yet to solve waste problems in their council.
“Waste management is a challenge and that is everyone’s business,” he said.
Touray hoped the local government and environmental ministries will support the project, adding that the initiative is local and Gambians should support it.
Musa Bah, Deputy Mayor of KMC, said they can use waste to make money and venture into other developments. He said waste management is KMC’s main priority and their municipality has been crying over it for a very long time. He called on Gambians to support the project to ensure its success.
The representative of Brikama Area Council, Bakary Jadama and the technical director of the council, said if waste is not quickly managed, it could bring more problems to the councils. He said the three councils have similar problems and they have to work together to combat the challenge.
“We are grateful to Mbolo association,” he said.
David Gomez, Director of Governance at the Ministry of Regional Government and Lands, said The Gambia is mismanaging its waste and that it is time to change that narrative. He said Gambians must change their attitude towards waste management or else they will keep on repeating or discussing the same issues on waste.
“Gambian should do their quota in the management of waste,” he said.
Gomez assured their collaboration for the success of the project.
Alagie Majang, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Environment, said the project is timely, while urging all parties to work towards its success.