This is one of the most amazing beaches in the Gambia; Paradise beach in the village Sanyang. Since this week, Nissim Fishmeal Factory installed a new pipeline on this public beach that is loved by so many tourists.
Local youths are angry and about to save their environment at all costs. Earlier this month the youths of Sanyang burnt down the pipelines in the hope to stop or delay the destruction of their home. Their once beautiful Paradise Beach, has now been taken by the Nissim Fishmeal Factory.
The stinking coast of Africa
What was once the slogan painted on the banners of protesting youths has now become a fact. The Gambia has rapidly turned into ‘The stinking coast of Africa’.
In a 14-kilometer radius there are now three fishmeal factories that are dumping thousands of liters of highly arsenic acid into the ocean. Straight into the water where the tourists are swimming.
What once was a promise for much employment and development has only turned into a few jobs and and nothing but destruction. For two years this carnage is going on. It started with the Golden Lead Factory in Gunjur, where some people now suffer from skin infections since swimming in the ocean.
The end is not in sight, yet the government is intensifying commercial fishing. A new fishmeal factory is under construction as we speak in Denton Bridge.
A dangerous situation for tourists, local people and marine life
The highly arsenic water itself is very dangerous for both humans and the marine ecosystem. Gambians eat the fish that is living in this water and the arsenic acid will eventually end up in our food chain scientist warn.
During high tides, these dangerous objects are fully submerged under sea water endangering the health and safety of fishers and regular visitors.
Protruding sharp steel metal embedded in concrete to secure the waste pipes of Nissem Fishmeal Factory which is dumping tons of dangerous fishmeal waste into the Atlantic Ocean on daily bases.
During high tides, these dangerous objects are fully submerged under sea water endangering the health and safety of fishers and regular visitors. Where is NEA, the Gambia tourism board and local government authorities whose responsibilities it is to make sure locals and tourist health and safety are safeguarded?
Local youths are not going to accept their beach turned into an environmental hell. The government has to see that this is affecting our tourism very bad. A government is supposed to take care of the health of the people. Are they going to choose for their people or will they keep backing foreign investors who have shown no respect for our environment?
Photography: Modou S. Janneh
Green World Warriors