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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 20 Sep 2022 : 11:41:48
Sep 20, 2022, 12:48 AM | Article By: Sulayman Waan
Residents of Kartong village in the West Coast Region have called on the Geology Department under the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy not to grant a mining licence to any sand mining company to mine in their territory, describing sand mining as a disaster to them.
Kartong residents reacted following the National Environmental Agency (NEA) grant of mining approval to Gam Quarry Mining General Trading Company to mine in their territory.
It could be recalled that the former government issued licences to mining companies to mine at Kartong from 1996-2001, 2008-2009, and 2015.
Those previous mining sites had now turned to ditches and contained stagnant waters. It has also become breeding grounds for crocodiles and snakes, according to villagers of Kartong.
According to residents, some children had even submerged in those ditches.
During a meeting on Saturday, some residents protested against mining in their territory.
Hatap Jaiteh, the spokesperson for Kartong Village Development Committee (VDC), said: “We do not want the Geology Department to give a mining licence to any mining company to mine in our territory because about 99 percent of the residents do not want any company to mine in our territory.”
“Therefore, we are calling on the Geology Department not to grant a mining licence to any company. This is a threat to our security, livelihood, and betterment of our future generation.”
He said that the previous mining site had now become a breeding ground for reptiles such as crocodiles and snakes.
These, he added, are risky in the environment. “Some children had also died in those previous mining sites,” he added.
Representing the village head of Katong, Kebba Touray, said the meeting aims to maintain peace and development in the community. However, he added that the elders of Kartong say ‘no to sand mining in our territory.’
Buba Kuwameh Jarju, the chairman of the VDC said: “We have received information that NEA has issued approval to Gam Quarry Mining General Trading Company to mine in our territory."
He argued that no company would be allowed to mine in their territory. He justified that mining would harm the community.
“If the sand mining company is allowed to mine here (in Kartong), there would be lots of ditches that would be detrimental to the community,” he said.
He recalled that in the past, residents of Kartong advised the Geology Department to end sand mining in their terrain but another company has now been issued a licence to mine there, saying “we are acting to stop the attempted mining to avoid repetition of the past.”
Khaddy Manneh, a representative of the women said: “We (the women of Katong) do not like mining in our community. Our sons were jailed here as a result of the mining and previously our children have died in the mining sites."
She warned against any company mining on the outskirts of the village.
Sulayman Manneh, an elderly person of Kartong, argued that there are several minerals in their lands from which outsiders are selling for millions of dollars whereas the community does not benefit from those resources.
"Are we going to allow them to mine in our territory," no…” the audience shouted. He therefore urged the residents to stand firm in protecting their territory against environmental degradation.
|1 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 29 Sep 2022 : 22:00:50
Kartong Sand Mining Saga: Residents reaffirm commitment to protect their environment
By Sulayman Waan
Following a recent call on the Geology Department not to grant sand mining license to any mining company to mine in Kartong, residents of the community have reaffirmed their commitment to protect their territory from environmental degradation.
Speaking at a meeting held in Kartong over the weekend, Hatab Jaiteh, spokesperson for Kartong Village Development Committee (VDC) said the majority of Kartong never want any form of sand mining in the community. He added that every resident of the community knew the negative effects of sand mining in the environment.
He recalled that previously some mining companies mined their land without any form of benefit for the community, “The mining has no benefit for the community. It only has negative effects on us,” he stated.
Buba Kwame Jarju, chairman of Kartong Village Development Committee said: “We want everyone to listen to our message carefully. We are seeking truth in the community. So, we want all to listen keenly,” he said.
He noted that following their recent protest, the VDC has addressed letters to several Government institutions warning them of any attempt to mine sand in the community.
“We have spoken to them that the residents of Kartong disagreed with any attempt to sand in the community,” he said “We have been suffering a lot.”
According to him, some elements of the community are working with the sand mining company so that they will be given a license to mine in their territory.
“We will take care of them. They are hypocrites and all hypocrites will go to hell fire. They would be dealt with before they die,” he argued. However, he said the VDC will continue to defend the interest of the community.
Momodou Lamin Touray, secretary to the VDC said the VDC is not a political organ but mandated to stand for the development of the community.
“No one should regard us as a political group. If anyone associates us with any political group, we will not forgive you,” he said.
He argued that Kartong was a beautiful settlement and nice for habitats but now it has experienced mosquitos throughout the season; therefore, endangering the lives of the community.
Morr Kebba Juwara, a resident of the community commended the youth of Kartong for protecting their territory from environmental degradation.
Representing Kartong Women, Fatou Njayo Jatta urged the youth of Kartong to reinforce efforts to protect their territory from exploitation by outsiders.
Tamba Jefang, spokesperson for Protection of Birds and Wetland in The Gambia who participated in the meeting assured them of his organization’s solidarity in protecting their lands from environmental degradation.
“The Gambia has about 560 pieces of birds,” he said.
He urged the VDC of Kartong to engage NEA to produce an environmental assessment document concerning the proposed sand mining.
Kuru Lamin Kongira, head of Makasutu Wildlife Trust urged residents of Kartong to never agree with companies that yearn to exploit their minerals. He said most of the companies that exploit the country’s resources are owned by foreign nationals.
‘We have to protect our resources because no one will do that for us,’ he said.
“This is not a case of Kartong. It is a national course and we are fully behind you. We will not stop here. We will sue anyone who wants to mine your resources,” he said.
Source: Mamos Media
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