By Amie Sanneh
We have been publishing a summary of the stories that we published in
2015. We continue to summarise stories relating to the provision of
services by public bodies. It is important to note that public service
is not a privilege but a right enshrined in the Constitution. Indeed section 26(c) of the Constitution stipulates that every citizen of The
Gambia has the right to have access to public service in The Gambia.
This time we focus on waste collection (or rather lack of it) which
has become a perennial problem in the urban area.
UNCOLLECTED GARBAGE HAS HEALTH, ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS
Say S/K Market Vendors
Men and women vendors selling inside the main Serekunda market on
Friday, 27th March, 2015 complained about the health risks and
economic implications being posed by a garbage heap nearby which had
not been collected for months.
A Foroyaa reporter found a heap of garbage emitting an unbearable
odour and infested with flies, worms and other insects.
Ya Fatou Manneh, an elderly woman who sells fresh fish in the evening,
she explained how the uncollected pile of garbage is impacting on
their trade as the stench is driving away their customers who cannot
stand for few minutes in front of their tables to buy.
“Some customers may be considering the health risk involve in buying
fish from us in this unsanitary environment,” she said.
Apart from the economic losses that it is causing to them, the old
woman also acknowledges the health implications posed by the
oppressive odour and the filth around them.
She said the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) had been informed but
that the response had always been that there was no fuel for the
transports to come and remove the garbage.
She added that they would continue there because of the lack of an alternative.
The garbage was cleared some days after the publication.
MARCHE TAYAL GARBAGE HEAP RISES AGAIN AND AGAIN
Market vendors and buyers of Marche Tayal and especially the residents
in the vicinity of this small market in Tallinding Sicap, had on
several occasion in 2015 complained to Foroyaa about uncollected
garbage heap. They say that the garbage heap just in front of their
homes continue to pose health risks to them, especially the kids.
The Foroyaa reporter who visited the site on several occasions would
find that the garbage was full of rodents, maggots and parasites that
worm their way into homes in the vicinity and polluted the
environment. Many passers-by could not bear the stench emanating from
the garbage and held their noses as they passed by.
Garbage that had earlier been piled on this spot would be removed some
days after publication, but would soon pile up again and the residents
are very much concerned.
Market vendors, buyers and residents are all worried about health
risks this garbage heap possess.
A resident named Haddy Sowe, said: “Flies, maggots and parasites are
all over our compound; our health is at risk at this moment, we don’t
know what to do now, we knocked the doors of KMC several times but
nothing has changed.”
“Drying our clothes after laundry is a big problem, we even have to
close all doors and windows when having our meals. We suffer more
during the rains. The kids cannot play around,” she added.
Mariama Sanneh, a market vendor, who said she has never defaulted in
paying daily market duties, expressed her displeasure with the Council
for not providing them with the necessary and requisite services such
as the regular collection of garbage.
She also reiterated the need for the removal of the dumpsite from the market.
Talking to Foroyaa, Pa Khalifa Sanyang, the Chief Executive Officer
(CEO) of KMC, said they are unable to effectively manage waste in the
municipality as they have limited resources in terms of mobility to
carry out their work.
Visiting the Marche Tayal market in Tallinding yesterday, this
reporter found the Council waste disposal team busy at work clearing
the pile of uncollected garbage from the said dumpsite.
WELLINGARA GARBAGE, AN EYE SORE
The piling of waste in the vicinity of Wellingara market and schools
has been of great concern to teachers, vendors and consumers. The
waste piles up high and blocks roads to the schools and markets.
It takes time to remove the waste and the work is never through.
The council simply maintained that the waste disposal is illegal and that
the place is not a dump site.
He opined that garbage dump has not emanated from the activities of
the market. “Those wastes are household wastes,” he asserted.
The caretaker at the school said that every day he has to stop people
from dumping waste there but the people always tell him that they have
nowhere to dump their waste. He said the people argue that the problem
is not where they should dump their waste because they should have a
place for them to dump their waste and the area council should be
collecting it regularly. This according to him is where the people
believe the problem lies.
Children were seen playing close to where the rubbish is piled.