By Hatab Nyang
On the 7th of February 2023, young people of Gunjur who work with tourists on the beach, halted ‘illegal’ sand miners from doing their act at Gunjur Kuba, situated on the coastline.
For the information of the readership, tourism activities within Gunjur is livelier in Kuba area than any other part of the Gunjur coastline.
If readers can recall, Abdoulie Jobe, the Minister for Petroleum and energy who is also in charge of mining, strongly denounced the environmental damage caused by the activities of these sand miners to the extent that he has threatened to stop the renewal of the licenses of some of these mining companies that may be found wanting.
Minister Jobe who was quoted in his own words, said the licenses of some of these companies will never be renewed, because of enormous damage they have done in some of the areas on the coastline, which destruction he said is not in the interest of anyone.
However, even with this strong pronouncement coming from the main authority in charge of mining across the country, the illegal act of the sand miners still continue particularly during the night, as this reporter confirms.
According to him, many areas along the coastline now experience sand mining during the night particularly in Senya and Kuba areas, with the deafening noise of truck horns and engines which disturb the peace and tranquility of nearby residents during the night. That the environment of these two particular areas have been devastated by sand mining in such a way that the eyesore that one receives by looking at the destroyed area caused by sand mining, pains the heart. He said the damage caused has destroyed the habitats of some fauna and flora such as reptiles and sea turtles that come to lay their eggs yearly.
This reporter visited the Kuba sand mining area at 12:15 am and said he was able to talk to some people who reported the arrival of unfamiliar faces from the Petroleum Ministry during that night, and were successful in stopping some trucks with the help of some of the youth who assisted them.
According to this reporter, sand mining is rampant on the Gunjur coastline, and its devastating consequence on the environment is such that it will take tens of years to rejuvenate.