By Buba Gagigo
The Kanifing Municipal Council [KMC] has reported a fire incident at the Bakoteh dumpsite that started in the hours of today.
“The Kanifing Municipal Council service department was notified by Bakoteh Dumpsite Security of a fire that erupted today the 27th of February at 5am this morning at the site which grew to become a large fire spewing smoke into the Bakoteh/Manjai Community. We would like to assure the community that KMC service personnel and fire services are currently on the ground battling the flames,” KMC said in a statement on Facebook page on Sunday
The council said such fires occur routinely but they mobilize resources quickly to ensure they are put out in the shortest possible time.
“The KMC has invested heavily to minimize the health hazard that the dumpsite causes to the community by building a D8 Million 1.8km perimeter fence and also with the support of SOS and [the] German Government to improve the dumpsite infrastructure through the ongoing D42 Million BMZ project.
“However, as we have said several times, the Bakoteh dumpsite has served its purpose and is overdue for closure. It should not and cannot still serve as a dumpsite given that it has run out of capacity and an entire community surrounds it,” the statement added.
KMC said they have requested the Gambia Government through the Ministry of Lands and Ministry of Environment to allocate an alternate three years ago.
“Three years ago we requested [from the] Gambia Government through the Ministry of Lands and Ministry of Environment to allocate an alternate landfill and provide support for the cleanup and closure of the Bakoteh dumpsite once and for all. KMC over the years has invested heavily in waste collection and for the first time we now have an adequate fleet boasting 40 vehicles, which include trucks and tractors and tricycles to carry [the] majority of KMCs waste to an alternate dumpsite.
“As we have done over the years we continue to call on [the] Gambia Government to prioritize this national health crisis and provide an alternative dumpsite/landfill ASAP,” it concluded.