Dumpsites on the Sukuta-Latrikunda highway are being cleared following executive orders, a Councilor for Sukuta Ward has told Front Page International, FPI.
Speaking at the main Sukuta dumpsite, Hon. Ebrima J. Cham said the process has been going since Friday, September 13.
“I understand that there is a directive from the Office of the President to combat all these unauthorized dumping yards (which have been) left for long time that need to be clear-out,” Cham said on Sunday.
The clean-up is supported by the National Disaster Management Agency, NDMA, in collaboration with the Brikama Area Council. The NDMA has provided two trucks and two excavators to take up this task.
“It’s my priority to make sure the dump sites are clear and anti-littering law is enforce so that people can live healthy, without any offensive smell,” the councillor said.
Dumpsites at Sukuta and Latrikunda are a long-term problem for residents, even though it’s the sole mandate of the BAC to clean-up the waste. The Sukuta Ward is directly under purview of the local government administrator, BAC.
However, residents can still dump waste as arrangement with the council to drop a bin at the sites that should be collected at least once a week is also underway, FPI is told.
On Sunday, the Councilor for the area said “The community is fully allowed to dump their waste but no one with a vehicle is allowed because they can drive to the center of the site to drop it there.”
Under-aged are also not allowed to dump waste at the yard because they can throw it anywhere they like – which can cause littering up to the highway – something “very unhealthy”, Cham said.
Cham claims he is not at the BAC to serve his selfish interest. He works for the people, for development.
He said: “I’m not a councilor just to be in the council chambers, I’m not in the council because of the wages, and I’m not in the council because I want to be fame but to fight (for) the rights of the people, to change the taxes they are paying into a form of development.”
Fatou Cham, Chairperson Sukuta Village Development Committee (VDC), assured that her committee will now take up responsibility of managing the dumping site. “I’m very much concerned with the welfare of my people,” she said.
Baboucarr Jatta, a local resident, told FPI the dump site has affected their lives for years.
“We find it very disturbing to sleep at night because of the smell,” he said. “The area council should help us by collecting the waste regularly to avoid spreading diseases.”
Computer technician student and Red Cross volunteer, Bubacarr Singhateh, said they have been advocating for the dumpsite to be cleared with a focus on the many health treats it poses. “It has many health hazards and have affected the life of the community,” he said.
“Removing this waste will impact their lives and also reduce damage to water source,” Singhateh said.