THE ENVIRONMENT: PART ONE (1)

WASTE MANAGEMENT!

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.

Authored:

Modou Lamin Jammeh

THE CHASM ON SECULARISM – THE GAMBIA

Repost! This is a view I hold in the face of turmoil, during the Gambia’s Constitutional Review process………………….

Different people with different intellectual background has took it upon themselves to battle ragingly regarding the word ‘Secular ‘- whether to include it in the constitution or not.

Pardon my impertinence!
It’s pathetic and disheartening to live to witness such an ignominious behavior in society: disregarding the most valuable resource we’re endowed with – tolerance; compromising the long reputation we ever had – peace; violating the most precious standards we ever cherished – moral values…….The atmosphere we found ourselves in as Gambians contemporarily is menacingly outrageous and dusty. One finds it almost impossible to sight through the glass of the foreseeable future.

This word (Secular) has Seemingly, resurrected an endless unprecedented chasms (debate) whether to include secularism in the constitution or not. This whole debate is on the line of breaching: our moral and cultural values as a people; the long indigenous peace and tolerance we’re known for; the joking relationships that binded us as Gambians – A contention based on antidisestablishmemtarianism or its contrary. I wouldn’t let my emotions or believe , or prejudice on favor of any of the parties involved – I’m impartial.

Now forgive me if I’m wrong! All I understand from the over-all reforms taking place in my motherland is : to resolve all the wrongs and defiances that had existed so long and distorted our shapes; to reinstate the abandoned peaceful coexistence that has been betrothed upon us as a nation by our forefathers ; to rewind the laws that seeked to opressed us and: those that vested absolute power in one person (President) and compromised our sovereignty as a people; those that granted immunity to the oppressors; those that devastated our health and afflicted obnoxious trauma on us. To stitch the deep wounds and bestow upon us assuaging messages of absolution, unity and democracy- mollification.

I sincerely plead to us all to take a step back and look at our opinions (on secularism) in a broader perspective- agglomerate our ideas , allow it to infiltrate through our various faculties for the best product that sought to redress our aspirations for the common good. Not that, that is inclined to favor the majority or the minority in anyways, but that, that does consider the plight of all in equity.

This country (The Gambia) that is so endeared to us, got itself built on a foundation of moral virtues, religious and cultural tolerance , embellished benignity and most importantly peace – undubitable. This wasn’t glamorous, was it?

It doesn’t really matter what your beliefs are, what concerns me is your decision on the matter (Secularism ) morally. Do you consider its implications inclusively, on society when included or not in the constitution- risk assessment?
Have you peruse it in terms of ” The Individual interest Vs The Public’s interest ” and know where the load lyes?
Can you assert utterly that, your decision or opinion is best for us?
I do hope that you have the intellectual dexterity to foresight, analyze and decode the future in this adverse atmosphere of ours having it (Secular) enshrined or not in the constitution.

After-all, our decisions would intrepidly hunt us as a collective. Don’t let your decisions paint us as an unscrupulously decadent society, for we’re known for its contrary (morality).
This topic would one day end – its dust shall settle, I do hope the aftermath shall be what we desired as a people.

Until then, have a good debate.

Authored: Modou Lamin Jammeh

WHAT GAMBIA AND GAMBIANS NEED!

Now, more than ever, we need a governance system that respects for fundamental human rights, that represents the voices of its people positively, that does not interfere in the judicial system of its country, that sympathize and respect victims of human rights violations and make so the justice they deserved is served.

We need a governance system, that’ll protect its people, that does not sacrifice its people for any gains, that does not ruin the economy of its country, that provides a healthy environment for civic participation.

A governance system that’ll provide an effective and efficient education system for its people, that’ll provide adequate and meaningful health centers with qualified health personnels ( with both orthodox and conventional medicine), that’ll create a resilient and fortified public health system, that’ll provide all necessary measure for any kind of emergencies.

A governance system that’ll pay its employees genuine salaries, that’ll provide genuine pension and retirement age and salaries for its employees, that’ll respect the dignity of its employees, that’ll cater for the health needs of its employees.

A governance system that’ll not use the security apparatus as a weapon for oppression and suppression of its people, that does not underestimate its security forces, that’ll protect the sovereignty and integrity of its country.

A governance system that’ll formulate constructive and practical policies for its institutions, that’ll implement any formulated policies without fear or favor.

A governance system that’ll build strong institutions that will combat corruption, that’ll promote accountability and transparency, that’ll provide scholarships for students who needs and deserves it, that’ll create an environment for private sector participation in the developmental agendas.

A governance system that does not levy heavy taxes to business owners (particular youth start-ups ) that will strip them off or collapse their business, a governance system that’ll be very vigilant at its ports of entry (both sea port, airport, and borders) to search and seize any fraudulent substance being smuggled in its territory, that’ll delegate responsibilities to the right and competent personnel, that’ll appoint personnels into its institutions base on merit and competency.

In essence, we need a proactive and energetic government that has the wit and dexterity to lead the pace of its nation’s development. And we should equally note with prudence that, leadership comes with responsibilities, it comes with its pros and cons and that’s inevitable, but in as much as we recognize and respect that, we equally needs more than ever:

A populace, that’ll ally with its government to work in tandem for the attainment of its goals and aspirations, that’ll hold its government to account, that’ll pressure its government to deliver.

A populace, that’ll abide by the laws of its land, that’ll not engage in a politic of partisanship, that’ll not take bribes to the detriment of its people, that’ll not throw stones at its government, that’ll do everything possible to protect its integrity and sovereignty.

A populace, that’ll uplift each other in terms of sweet and sour, a populace that’ll resort to protesting as a last choice, a populace that’ll stand for each other to ensure those that deserved justice have it, and ensures victimhood is eradicated in its territory.

If anything, the morale behind this outcry is, we need a pragmatic and deliberative democracy devoid of corruption, treachery, violations of human rights. And preoccupied with positive development, addressing the needs of its people and protect the economy, integrity and sovereignty of its country.

We need patriotic youths that’ll serve as a source of inspiration and motivation to their fellows, youths that have their nation at heart and will serve as problem solvers.

Authored: Modou Lamin Jammeh.

REDEFINING HISTORY

History had been ruined and had evidences manipulated in the presence of all – yet we believed without questions (perhaps analyse on our own courtesy). The distorted history would triumph through the thriving of time, Such that, we would be told blacks are inferior to white: this sparks the proliferation of the inferiority complex of black men. We are made to shadow our minds with self-derogatery believes that we’re no complete beings without the aid of the Whiteman.

And the tragedy about us is, we upheld this caricature with great value – we safeguard it with our life even though it’s manipulated profoundly against us:

And such had manifested in many ways, but the most pathetic way, is our leaders relegating our state to trivialities by begging or surrendering our resources to their mercy – that’s not a very big deal you’d hear: but, to the extent of sacrificing our leftover resources again to get , just chicken change from the So called White elites. What is so gravely pathetic than such a tragedy.

We were utterly exploited, abused, raped, molested, yes! The facts still remain no matter how hard they tried to manipulate it. At one time, we claimed our sovereignty and had it. So what do you make of this : begging from the oppressor?!

They said, ‘We (Africans) can’t be compared to the West’ – For god and heaven sake! Why can’t we? I mean, why is it a taboo to rub shoulders with the White? Where is the liberty?

Aside from all this hullabaloo, what’s my point? Why am I in fact raising this disgust and trivial issue here?

Well! If you perceived: it as, provoking, I’ll be glad it did ; it as obnoxious, I’ll be honored it does; it as rekindling your traumatic anguish, I’m sorry it does. This has gone beyond that! I hereby, without reservations, question your knowledge of history…..

Let’s just face it:
Beyond! slavery, colonization, resistance against colonialism, wealth, there’s an obscured story of us Africans. Which the greater proportion of Africans are yet to embrace (perhaps, scarcely know about). We are great and powerful! I don’t need to repeat myself. I don’t need an angel or a Whiteman to tell me that I’m great to believe it: I’m born of the believe from the onset and I shall die with it.

Numerous Black Africans, whom history regard as Liberators, stood firmly against this disguise notion that, we are son of a lesser god ! They’ve fought countless battles in which some of them surrendered their lives to salvage us. Some under solitary confinement for more than two decades: while others made it through the confinement – others faced their last horrible nightmares before bidding farewell to life. Less we recognize those remarkable efforts (atrocities of the white) , the more bewildering this notion of attainment of freedom and sovereignty gets.

This whole issue of subjugation is a placebo, instituted to exploit us more – albeit, the reality is, we’re equal, or they’re no better. We’ve to break the circles of the myth that: only the Whiteman’s aid can emancipate us from poverty, underdevelopment and other anthropogenic challenges.

It’s time to usher in a new dawn of consciousness, self-reliance, independency and protect our sovereignty as a people, as a state and by far and large, as a continent. Some would say, it’s a tactical nightmare, it’s a delusion or mere hallucination: but that is not important; let’s garner all we’ve got and resort to actualizing the “dawn of the new history”, that is important.

We can’t be victims of paroxysmal trepidant abasia! For long, I’ve wondered, is it that we’re watching the future through a myopic lens?
I still can’t fathom the puzzle – but you’ve the liberty and choice to help us out. And one thing I know for sure is, we’ve proactive youths with rational mindset (if that’s followed with some pieces of pragmatism): that alone will do – we may be save of the blurry synopses of the future.

That is the beginning of redefining the fallacious history we are caged in. Until with our different lenses, see the future with pro-activeness and consciousness, I hope you see what we (like-minded) could see – good luck.Authored: Modou Lamin Emess Jammeh

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