GAMBIA: Tourists Leave Beach Restaurants When Fishmeal Factories Start Operating

Holiday makers including tourists are leaving beautiful beaches on the coast of Sanyang, Kombo South District following the re-operation of the fishmeal factory that was alleged to be releasing toxic waste into the sea.

Golden Lead Factory in Gunjur, The Gambia.
Golden Lead Factory in Gunjur, The Gambia. Because of this factory many local lodges are no more receiving guests. Sitting outside is impossible due the stench the fishmeal factories are producing.

The Mauritanian own Fishmeal Company, Nessim has in recent months restarted its operations by channeling the waste pipe into the sea for the release of its industrial wastes following approval by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

The fishmeal was initially closed for a period of six months for it to abide by certain environmental rules before any operations.

In an interview with The Point, Dave Hindle, a British tourist, said he has been visiting The Gambia for the past fifteen years. He added that he had visited many tourist sites but ended up at Sanyang as a result of the beauty of the beach.

He described tourism as one of the sectors that brings lots of money to the country. He believed that having such a factory situated around a tourism area could drive many tourists away.

“It is a very big risk to have a fishmeal factory situated close to the tourism site with constant release of bad odour as soon as it starts operations,” he said.“I think the factory has to be re-allocated to a place that will not affect the industry,” he opined.

Lamin Jawla, the proprietor of Rainbow Beach Bar and Restaurant, said he is shocked any time he sees some of the tourists leaving beach restaurantsas soon as the fishmeal starts operation even after ordering their meals.

He said a lot of tourists who were to come to his restaurant have cancelled their bookings with him. He added that those who have already booked have also cancelled theirs as a result of the factory’s operation.

“Even today, as I am talking to you, some of the tourists who supposed to be here have already cancelled their bookings with us; and also those who have already booked,” he said.

Author: Yusupha Jobe


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