The opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) has called on the Gambia Government to undertake a comprehensive review of the laws regulating the natural resources of the Gambia.
UDP’s statement on the environmental disaster in the West Coast Region made available on Tuesday urged the government to identify the gaps in compliance and where appropriate take corrective actions, impose sanctions and or revoke the licenses of non-compliant businesses.
The statement signed by ANM Ousainu Darboe Secretary General & Party Leader, further stated that UDP believes that given the crosscutting nature of a healthy environment for the general health of the national economy and the wellbeing of people living in coastal areas, the Gambia Government must spare no effort to protect the marine environment by assiduous enforcement of the law.
The statement pointed out UDP is gravely concerned about the unsustainable exploitation in the mining sub-sector along the coastline of the Gambia.
“Sand mining both for exports and for the domestic construction industry is moving at a rapid pace which is not sustainable. If this trend continues unchecked with the present climate crises and sea-level rise will increase the Gambia’s vulnerability to climate-induced environmental disasters,” the statement said.
According to the statement UDP notes with alarm the recent phenomenon of sand mining by dredging up the seabed close to the Denton Bridge and the Banjul-Serrekunda Highway.
“The long-term environmental impact of this process is not known and with the predicted sea-level rise this will jeopardise the existing coastal infrastructure with devastating consequences on livelihood opportunities of coastal communities,” the statement noted. Read the full text of the statement on page 9