KMC’s FIVE YEAR WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN VALIDATED Bakoteh/Manjai communities not represented

By Madiba Singhateh

The Kanifing Municipal Council, on Friday 24th March concluded its three day validation meeting of its five year waste management plan 2017 to 2021, at the municipality’s chambers at Kanifing.

Stakeholders in attendance included representatives of the ministry of water resources, the ministry of natural resources, fisheries and the environment, the ministry of health and social welfare, the ombudsman and other institutions. However the communities of Manjai Kunda and Bakoteh who are major stakeholders in the equation were conspicuously absent. A spokesperson of their committee told Foroyaa that they were not informed. He added that they intend to visit the KMC today to discuss with them.

Readers should take note that public participation is a strategic objective of the KMC plan. The following is stated in the document:

“Ideally, therefore, a public participation program will be established to actively involve citizens living in close proximity to the Bakoteh Dumpsite, in all phases of developing  the final waste disposal facilities, including site design, development and operation.”

The purpose of the gathering was to validate the fourth draft of the waste management plan of the municipality.

The municipality which is one of eight local government areas comprising five constituencies has the task of overseeing the activity and waste collection management of the communities’ waste including household, commercial, industrial and healthcare waste, both solid and liquid.

The Plan focuses on Public education and awareness-raising on waste management issues; generation, storage and collection of waste from the different sources of generation; improvement of the Management of the Bakoteh Dumpsite, capacity building with a view to improving staff  performance for quality service delivery; cost recovery for ensuring quality waste management service delivery to various customers; partnership for industry development in waste management and developing the framework for regulating waste management in the municipality; developing the mechanisms for program coordination, monitoring and evaluation.

Much time was spent discussing the issue of waste collection and management as the municipality faces a lot of difficulties in managing waste more so the Bakoteh dumpsite, which is the only recommended dumpsite for the municipality.

The budget for the plan was controversial and generated a lot of debate. While some considered the amount as necessary, critics considered it to be beyond the means of the council. The plan includes the setting up of a recycling plant which will require the use of other heavy equipment such as bulldozers, landfill compactor, excavator, etc.

Speaking at the closing, the director of service said the plan which took nearly 18 months to prepare will be sent to their partners. They may be partnering with the private sector or development partners.

Jaja Cham representing the Chief Executive Officer, said there have been many miseries surrounding the Bakoteh dumpsite and that the plan has come to demystify what is happening there. He emphasized the need for a plan because without a plan they are planning to fail, and they hope this plan will guide them.

He said they have started identifying donors, noting that Bakoteh dumpsite is challenging but they are ready to accept the challenge.

The consultant Kebba Sanyang, a development management consultant working with the K M C since last year, said normally on process of consultancy   and assignment like this they hire a consultant to consult the stakeholders and look at the whole scene, noting during the process they looked at the documents, survey it and process it.

He pointed out they organized workshops for community institutions and civil societies, then came with their report and wrote their report, now that it has been validated they have to take ownership and address their concerns, needs and demands.

He said after all involvement of the communities, councilors and stakeholders, then document can be taken to the main stakeholder which is the government.