Smoke Felt Kilometers Away
By Makutu Manneh
The Mayor of the Kanifing Municipality Talib Ahmed Bensouda, has informed the press that smoke from the recent Bakoteh Dumpsite fire outbreak on Wednesday 27th January 2021, was felt kilometers away from the site; that the smoke reached communities as far away as Old Yundum, Brufut and Bijilo.
He however said the fire was extinguished and the smoke was contained within the perimeter fence of the site, the following Thursday morning.
According to Mayor Bensouda, this was achieved by the taskforce of Council staff, officers of the Municipal Police and support from the Fire and Rescue Services, as well as private tankers.
The Mayor said if the dumpsite has not been divided into six zones, the fire outbreak could have become worse; that over the past three years, the KMC committed tens of millions of Dalasi to the management of the dumpsite; that last year, KMC spent over 6.5 million Dalasi to manage and maintain the dumpsite.
Mayor Bensouda stressed that since he came into office in 2018, he was aware that the dumpsite is the greatest challenge facing the Municipality which has now become clear.
“Last week’s fire and its smoke show that Bakoteh dumpsite is a national issue that is not confined to the Kanifing Municipality alone.
We are currently constructing a 3.5 meter high and 1,770 meter long perimeter fence which costs 9 million Dalasi, to fully secure the site and this is financed entirely by Council’s own capital development budget.
This fence will eliminate tress-passers who pose great risk by starting fires within the site. The construction of the fence is 40 percent complete and is expected to be completed next month,” the KMC Mayor said.
Mayor Bensouda said he sympathizes with all those who are affected by the smoke from the site and said he is committed to finding a solution that will close Bakoteh dumpsite in the shortest possible time.
Lamin Sanyang, KMC’s Director of Services said they will continue their efforts to combat the challenges at the Bokoteh dumpsite.
“We are very much committed to ensure that the dumpsite is well managed,” he said.
On his part, Malamin Ceesay, the Commissioner of Police confirmed that the KMC Municipal Police played a vital role in putting off the fire at the Dumpsite. He also confirmed the apprehension of someone who is being investigated, in connection with this recent fire.