Concern Universal-The Gambia launched waste innovation center in Brikama, West Coast Region (WCR) on Saturday, 15th August, 2015 aiming to train natives to recycle the waste into useful materials.
Speaking, Mr. Tony Jonsen, Country Director-Concern Universal said the area council asked them for support in this nature. He said they lamented that there are huge waste products that are generated on a daily basis due to populous nature of the region. He said in reaction to that appeal, his NGO felt the necessity of the call and therefore they decided to support.
However, he said due to financial and expertise resources they could not came to the aid until now. He noted that recycling waste products such as nylon bags required expertise skills and fortunately with the intervention of the Waste Aid in the UK this became a success by providing a personnel to train the natives particularly women.
“We have been helping people particularly women and poor people in the Gambia. Now that many women are well trained, it becomes a source of employment for them because they can go and collect plastic bags and saw-dust and turn them into charcoal,” said country rep.
However, he urged that the responsibility of maintaining the initiative is a duty of all. He assured that it will be a replicated in the other regions if WCR registers success.
Mr. Mike Webster, the West Aid-UK Consultant and the trainer of the initiative said it has been a tense responsibility to see the initiative through but added that it is successful. He said for the past five months, he has been taking his trainees on how to turn the wasteful products such as fish wastes into fertilizer and plastic bags, mango and saw dust into charcoal which he said is currently hitting the market.
“These are the ways in which waste can turn to wealth. It is an entrepreneurial work for many people,” said west management expert.
Mr. Bakary Saibo Sanneh, Chairman of Brikama Area Council (BAC) described the gesture as important. He said it is the mandate of the council to provide and protect the environmental health of its people adding that recycling of waste into something good is meaningful.
“This council has lots of people with many activities on a daily basis creating an increasing waste generation. Some areas of the council particularly, fish landing communities generate more waste products. Clinical wastes are also on the increase but with this initiative, the waste will be contained easily,” said BAC Chairman.
Mr. Salina Jobe, NEA staff said the initiative would not only create employment for local women and youths but will importantly contribute positively towards climate change. He said it will reduce dependency of tree cuttings for charcoal and there will be no burning of certain products that can have effect in the climate system. He said it will also increase waste collection which can ensure a clean environment.
The other speaker includes Kadijatou Sowe of Women Initiative-The Gambia (WIG).