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Environmentalists Threaten Legal Action Against New Owner Of Old-Cycle-Track

Environmentalists protesting at Old-cycle-track
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Environmentalists protesting at Old-cycle-track
Photo: The Chronicle Newspaper


By Landing Ceesay

Some Gambia environmentalists planned to file an injunction at the High Court against the construction ongoing at the Old Cycle Track in Senegambia.

The tourist attraction site behind the Palma Rima Beach, which annually attracts many tourists because of the presence of different wildlife spices, is allocated to a Malaysian company to build a hotel according to the Gambia Tourism Board.

The move sparked anger among environmentalists when Kerr Fatou unearthed the development.

The news triggered the protest on Wednesday by many Gambian environmentalists against what they called the “sale” of the site to the Malaysian company that is currently constructing a structure there.

While addressing the protesters at the Old-Cycle-Track, Ahmed Manjang, an environmentalist said the next step they would take is to file an injunction against the construction.

“The next step we will take is that we are going to talk to environmental lawyers and file an injunction against these people for the work to stop. Because if we leave it, the work is going to continue that is why we are going to file an injunction against them at the High Court for the work to stop. This will be our next step, and I can assure you that this work is not going to continue,” he said.

However, Manjang disclosed another plan they intend to embark on to ensure that construction is halted, at the tourist attraction site.

 “If the law is too slow, we will come back here and tie ourselves to these trees. We are going to interrupt the work here because that is the only language these people understand. It is really sad but we Gambians should take responsibility. Because if we all sit and do nothing, this is what happened,” Mr Manjang said.

Tamba Jeffang, a bird watcher said that their protest is just the beginning of their fight against the “sale” of the place. He vowed that they won’t stop until the construction is stopped, while calling on every environment caring Gambian to join their crusade.

“We want every Gambian that cares about the environment that cares about this country, I want them to come and join us on our next gathering here because we are not stopping. This is just the beginning and if we come back here again, we want this construction to stop or if not I promise you people, I am going to glue myself to these trees because I am ready to die for this cause. I broke this news and the reason why I broke this news is that I knew what these people [company] are doing here [Old-cycle-track] is wrong,” he emphasised.

Mr Jeffang added that he would fight for the place without giving up and assured that victory would come for them,

This protest came a few days after Kerr Fatou visited the place following a tipoff that the site had been allegedly sold to a Chinese National, a claim the Gambia Tourism Board [GT Board] denied.

When contacted for comments, the Director General of Tourism Board [GT Board] Abubacarr Camara has said that the place is not sold to a Chinese National; but legally allocated to a Malaysian company with proper documentation.

He added that the Malaysian company would construct two hotels, a park and a shopping mall on the site in question.

However, the GT Board Director General was quick to say that the Old-cycle-track was not allocated to the Malaysian under his leadership.

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