The amount of waste being produced by day in The Gambia is really alarming and its inadequately disposed-off in the streets, coastline, sea and other water bodies recklessly, obstructing our streets, sewerage system, toxifying our sea and endangering marine lives – environmental pollution – which among other issues including our lifestyles posed a great risk on our health. It is conspicuous that, various localities (West-coast Region in particular) have an overwhelmingly agglomerated waste as a result of increase indiscriminate waste (solid & liquid) disposal at unauthorized dumping sides within the locality. Perhaps, one may point fingers at the Local Area Council for not doing their job adequately.
This, as a public health concern, demands urgent exoneration by the local authorities. Activists and Public Health Officers could boost the process by unflinchingly pressuring the authorities concerned. We can accomplice this task in tandem to curb the ill effects of indiscriminate waste disposal. Thus, all activist (Environmental) should form an alliance to reversing this cheerless trend. Yes! In my region, The BAC is not doing what it ought to do: that’s obvious to everyone. Which should encourage us all not to rest on our laurels until the job is done.
That been said, our efforts should not only stop at sensitization of the inhabitants to embrace a proper lifestyle; promotion of proper waste management and hygiene practices, but also as patriotic citizens, encourage reporting of any case of illegal dumping to the responsible authorities so as to discourage the habit; build a cordial relationship between the communities and local authorities to be organising routine seminars on issues affecting their (inhabitants) health, particularly waste management, and how to reverse them.
This I believe would go a long way in informing, educating, empowering and influencing local people to take greater responsibility and have greater control of the determinants of their health, and be cognizant of the fact that the “health locus of control: i.e. centre of control of their health” is based on their personal knowledge, attitude and lifestyle. In addition, advising them to indulge in actions that will improve their health.
Having that done! the rate of air and water borne (particularly chronic) diseases would tremendously decline, hence reducing the magnitude of exposure or vulnerability. We should take pride with humility in leading the course of ensuring that, our various communities are clean and healthy at all times, as we might have sought to do. We might also wish to ensure our people are well sensitized on the effects of some of the gruesome practices they do that are inimical to their health.
In as much as we advocate for good health practices, safe environs, proper and effective health delivery systems, adequate service delivery by local authorities; we should also ensure that monitoring mechanisms are instituted for communities to account for their own wrongs, not precluding the local authorities.
Modou Lamin Jammeh