Biomedical scientist Mr Ahmed Manjang is ringing the alarm bells in order to save the Gambia’s environment and future. We are allowing foreign investors to operate fishmeal factories to overfish our waters and pollute our environment. ‘What if all the fish is gone, are we going to eat each other?’. In this article you will find Mr. Manjang’s story completed with all the evidence in video.

Every Gambian should hear biomedical scientist Mr. Manjang’s explaining the facts

Gunjur’s watersystem is poisoned with dioxines

Along our south coast we find a lot of lodges. We already have people who are infected by skin infections. This is related to the illegal dumpings of waste by the Golden Lead factory. Their waste is pumped into the ocean and Bolong Fenyo Wildlife Reserve by underground pipelines releasing incredible amounts of dioxines.

This waste water contains ammonia and sulfide which create dioxines. Mr Manjang explains how dioxines work. Dioxines take away all the oxygen present in the water, as a result of this everything that breathes under water will die. This explains the massive wash ups of dead fish everyday along our south coast.

People with different forms of cancer will show up soon

This polluted wastewater is coming into our systems now. Our cattle drink from it. When new grass is growing after the raining season, this grass will be concentrated with these dioxines. If cattle eats this grass these dioxines will be stored into the fat of the animals.

We eat our cattle and we will have the dioxines in our system. Mr Manjang expects that within a few years the first people with different forms of cancer will show up. In the first movie you will see how people’s houses are destroyed by the factory’s waste water and how the waste water is getting into our system.

We cannot sustain this way of fishing for even one year

Our Bonga fish a the cheapest way of protein in the Gambia. Right now the production capacity of this factory is 500 tons of fish which is equal to 11.000 bags of rice. They catch this amount of fish everyday now. So, if they have a factory which is at least three times bigger then this one, we are talking about at least 44.000 bags of rice (refering to the Bonga fish) per day. Mr Manjang is pointing to the giant fishmeal factory which is build in Kartong and to be opened soon.

Inside the Gunjur Factory (see how these wall are build for temporary usage)

If the other factory in Sanyang is realized this will go up to 55.000 bags of rice equal in weight to the fish. They pull this amount of Bonga fish out of our ocean every day. That will a be a total amount of 20.075.000 kg of fish caught per year and 90% of this fish products will me exported to China. So that will be 18 million kg of fish that is vanishing from our ocean straight to China*.

Tons of fish are pulled from the ocean to be processed and exported to China. This is not sustainable and will not last longer then one year
They are going to catch 55.000 bags of rice equal in weight to the fish per day. How do we think we can sustain this?



This is not development but a major threat to our health

Our fish is getting smaller everyday. Mr Manjang talks about the giant Bonga fish his mum used to bring home. But now we don’t see them anymore. Our fish stocks in our ocean are trying to regenerate, but in this massive industrial fishing scale our fish stocks have absolutely no change to regenerate. We cannot sustain this way of fishing for even one year! We are going to kill ourselves this way.

Bonga fish is for many poor people the only affordable way to get protein
Bonga fish is for many poor people the only affordable way to get protein

Bonga is the only affordably protein and rapidly disappearing

For most Gambians Bonga fish is the only protein they can afford, if we take this protein out of their system people are going to get sick and our healthcare system is already broken. Omega-3 is a very important nutrient which can only be found in oily fish like Bonga. This is very important for pregnant women. If you have an oily diet the change of having a healthy baby which is fully mentally developed is 99.9%.



The Chinese people completely neglect the health and safety of their staff

The way we fish is unsustainable and is a major threat to our diets because fish is on the bottom of our food chain. The Chinese people who are investing and fishing here completely neglect the health and safety of their staff. If you go there you see none of the people working their wearing face masks or safety boots. This is a direct threat to their health. Another fact is that the NEA is claiming they are not using chemicals. But you need something to clean the inside of the factory. This have to be chemicals because it is extreme slippery and the only way to get rid of it is by using chemicals. So it is not true they are not using any chemicals.


Many, many trucks completely filled up with fish are supplying the factory all day long

In this factory said it invested two million in Gunjur. But I can tell you now, the oil they produce and export is worth much more money then that. One kilo of the light oil they produce and export is between 90 en 12 dollars. Billions of dollars are made here.



Why can’t our government just invest in us?

Then Mr Manjang starts to get upset. This government could invest this money also in our own community by building a smaller Gambian factory. The technologies to establish this are not rocket science. Why can’t our government just invest in us? Now we export everything instead of using it ourselves because every Gambian needs it.

The underground pipeline dumping the factory's waste water into our ocean.
The underground pipeline is still blowing the factory’s waste water into our ocean. You can clearly see the clouds of waste. This picture was taken very recently (25th of june 2017)

For a very very cheap price these Chinese people are making billions and send it to their country. If you look at their building you can see they are temporary. After a time they will just pack up and go. And then, what do we Gambians get, are we going to eat each other? We are only fighting for a sustainable and healthy future. We are not after anybody, nobody wants to see your fellow citizen to lose their job, but we are fighting for them, our welfare and our future.


Our government is not really helping. The factory is still allowed to operate after paying a small fine of 25.000 and the pipes are still in the ocean. People feel not protected and supported by their own government which is a very sad thing.

After a time they will just pack up and go. And then, what do we Gambians get, or we going to eat each other?



An urgent call to the factory workers

My fellow Gambians, Senegalese or whoever is working in that factory, I advise you from the bottom of my heart. I would never ever want to see anybody losing his job, but if your job is going to kill you down the line within even one or two years, I want you to lose this job. This action is to protect the health and safety of you people who are working there. You are my number one priority. We, the people of Gunjur will promise you that, now we live with a democratic government, we are ready to create employment opportunities.

This is a West African issue. The fish in the Chinese sea already depleted in the eighties so they start fishing all over the world. Especially in West Africa because of the lack of patrols and the rich fishing grounds. Right now there are 3000 fishing trawlers fishing in the West African waters. Many of them are stealing and are not even registered. It’s not only the fishmeal factories but all these fishing activities together that are going to bring us in great danger soon. We need a massive change of thinking within all West African governments.



Support the people of Gunjur

Follow Facebook page: Stop Golden Lead Factory
Follow Facebook page: Gunjur Development Forum
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Also Mr Ousman Manjang has his thought about what is happening in the Gambia




*Mr Manjang did not mentioned this but we calculated this based on the given information

Comments

  1. Inform Greenpeace the are big to make action. Sorry but the Gambia government will doing NOTHING the are afraid for the Chinese.

    1. Its so sad that the change we were all yearning for is daily getting more and more elusive. Could never in my wildest imagination picture this our beloved country would be allowed to be completely decimated by these heatless vandals. Are we blinded by the crumbs handed by the Chinese to destroy the livehood of this, not to talk of coming generations. Given the way things are going like the poisoning of our flora and fona there might not be other generations coming after. Let us take responsibility for protecting our God entrusted Eco system ourselves. If our forefathers were half this irresponsible would there still be any flora and fauna, fish and food for us to survive on let alone bequeathing to our children and grand children.

  2. Yes get greenpeace involved. The chinest will kill us and then fuck off back to chian. We need to build and our own factories. Sell to our own and ship the surplus to China at a price that we want that is how we will create billionaire and millionaire of our own. They are enriching themselves on our backs.

  3. Talking about this new government, they are a bunch of novice completely blinded by the need for money. They care less about the environment. They have yet to show what type of economic, social and environmental policies they are pursuing after six months of promises.

  4. This needs to stop immediately otherwise just as you rightly said we will end up dying with all forms of cancer.In the near distance future their over fishing in our water will leave local fishermen with empty net then markets would like this essential commodity families will suffer malnourishment,this really really serious my heart is bleeding just can’t get it with our new government compromising our future generations.I think is right to involve Greenpeace on this issue.

  5. Brother please contact green peace they will help us people are having cancer and we don’t know what causes it

  6. This is completely wrong. Our government should act immediately. How can one sell his future by couples of dollars at the end of the day that little money will not be enough if something happens in the future. If the government cannot do anything we citizens should call for a massive demonstration .

  7. The affected people will not be people of Gunjur only but the whole of Kombo particularly Kombo South.The most affected people will be those on the Kombo BAADAA BORINDOO (The coastal Settlements) whose livelihood depends on the Sea and its major Surroundings.
    The people of Kombo South fight this together.The area has been exploited for far too long without the residents being benefiting.All the areas used to be rice growing fields and vegetable growing areas have bee destroyed due to the Sand Mining operations in the area in which millions and millions of dollars had been generated but it leaves the people poorer and poorer.

  8. This is absolutely horrendous the environmental and health damages will be catastrophic and will harm us for generations to come,green peace international should do everything to help poor little Gambia from giant heartless China right NOW.

  9. This fish korbo is very expensive in Europa 500 dalasis For One.so we Mist Not allowed These Chinese to Exploit pur Natural Resource
    Let the government do something before its too late.

  10. I think this is very disturbing. In abéné a town in the casamanche, the Chinese were illegaly building a factory. All the nice fauna and flora were and will be distroyed for a very long time. They were stopped because they even didnot have any permission. Now they are continuing building. I am so worried for this little paradise called Abéné. It will be used And left soon without benefits, only with illnesses, no fish, no ecotourism, nothing. Let’s wake up And help the people of West Africa. You can already help by sharing this article! Please do And express your concern. No more Chinese factories!

  11. why not follow the policy of Costa Rica, was also a poor country but they gave up their army to put all the money into an Ecologically responsible natural invirement !! Now they are an example to the world , we can learn a lot from their policy !

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