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Brufut VDC Calls for Support to Improve Market Waste Management and Dumping Site

Yusef Taylor

Yusef Taylor, commonly known as Flex Dan is an editor and practising journalist based in the Gambia with a keen interest in human rights, the economy and good governance among many others. He continues to break news on the economy, human rights violations and is highly engaged in security sector reforms, constitutional reform and the transition of the Gambia from dictatorship to a democracy, the NewGambia. Yusef has been working with Gainako as a media practitioner from 2015 to date. He has a degree in Civil Engineering with 5 years of Design Consultancy experience.

By Yusef Taylor and Sainey Sanyang

This is the second publication by Gainako on one of the settlements in Sanneh Mentereng Constituency following the first publication on Bijilo. Brufut is right after Brusubi heading from Turntable towards Tanji. For this publication, our reporter engaged the Public Relations Officer / Spokesperson of Brufut Village Development Committee (VDC) Mr Momodou Bah.

The Alkalo for Brufut is Ma Lamin Manneh who echoed the words of Spokesperson Bah that they are available to engage the public. However, Spokesperson Bah noted that they prefer to fix appointments. Explaining how the VDC is set up Mr Bah notes that they usually take two persons per Kabilos [smaller communities] to create the Brufut.

Bijilo VDC Chair calls for Support for Community Nursery School and Clinic

New VDC Chairperson Appointed

According to a post on Brufut People’s social media page, Mr Omar Manneh has now been appointed as the VDC Chairperson taking over from the previous VDC Chairperson Alhagie Pa Lamin Fatty. Mr Manneh was the Vice Chairperson until his recent elevation to the Chair. Brufut People’s page paid a tribute to outgoing VDC Chair “Pa Fatty for his restless service to [Brufut] over the years. Many development projects have happened under his leadership during [the] last few years including securing Strasser Football Field”.

Speaking about some of the initiatives that they have undertaken, Spokesperson Bah explained that they usually engage in fundraising activities by organising shows with the famous Kora Maestro Jaliba Kuyateh, however, since the Covid-19 Pandemic struck they have avoided organising such activities.

Spokesperson Bah says that Brufut natives living in the Diaspora have also contributed to the funds raised and the Gambia Government is also credited with providing money for a plot of land. However, after purchasing the land, ongoing road works have taken some part of the land, reducing its size. Currently, negotiations are ongoing to secure a bigger plot of land in a more conducive location.

Brufut Dumping Site (c) Sainey Sanyang
Dumping Site Needs Attention

One of the concerns is the dumping site located behind the Cemetary en route to Madiana from the Gamtel Highway. Spokesperson Bah says that the dump site is causing environmental pollution and the spread of diseases as the site is located close to the community. The rainy season means that the waste is exposed to water which compounds issues further attracting rodents and creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

To address the problem the Spokesperson calls for support such as tractors, shovels and manpower to recycle some of the useful waste which will reduce the waste to be moved into a ditch located further into the dump site.

Speaking to a worker from Brikama Area Council appointed to take care of the dump site he told our reporter that even a shovel will be useful to help him complete his task. He intends to reduce the waste in the dumping site through recycling and relocating some of the waste found on the pathway and entrance into the ditch located further inside the dump site.

Road from Brufut Market to Ghana Town (c) Sainey Sanyang
Improved Waste Management, Better Roads and Cold Store Facilities Needed

The Brufut Market is located very close to the Central Masjid. Unfortunately, the waste management facilities such as the garbage bins and recycling areas are not sufficient. In addition to this, the frequency in which waste is collected from the Market is very low. The management of Brufut Market is under the Brikama Area Council. The waste pollution not only affects the market but is also a burden to residents who pray in the Masjid.

Spokesperson Bah is calling on the government and philanthropists to assist with cold storage for their fish market. The cold store could also be used to store vegetables which often get spoilt after harvesting their crops.

Another concern is the state of the roads in Brufut connecting Ghana Town to the Main Brufut Market and the other road from Gamtel to Brufut Town which is the main route for commuters. Speaking to a fish market vendor struggling to ply the road she explained that when it rains vehicles cease to ply the route forcing them to carry their fish baskets on their head to get home. She urged the government and authorities to do something about the road which she says was much better in its previous state. The road works during the rainy season have made the roads unusable.

One of the initiatives highlighted by the Spokesperson is their initiative to plant 2,000 trees in the forest of Sutubakono. The VDC is scheduled to hold their congress in December 2022 which will lead to the handing over of their tenure.

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