By Yankuba Jallow
The National Environment Agency (NEA) has sued the Chinese own company in Gunjur, Golden Lead Company, on four counts related to pollution.
Golden Lead Import and Export Company is a Chinese owned company and is situated in Gunjur, Kombo South District of West Coast Region. The Company is alleged to act in contravention of the provisions of NEMA 1994 (Cap 72:01) revised laws of the Gambia. The company however, refuted all charges brought against them.
When the case was called before Magistrate Momodou L.K. Bojang of the Brikama Magistrates Court, both parties were represented and the case proceeded. The prosecution (NEA) was represented by Momodou S.F. Bojang and the defence (Company) were represented by Lawyer M. Drammeh.
In the charge sheet, they are alleged to have discharged waste water from their fish processing plant into the sea in Gunjur beach in the year 2016, 2017, unknown to the relevant Authority, the NEA, contrary to Section 56 (1) (b) and (c) of NEMA, 1994.
On count two, the Company is alleged to have discharged waste water from their fish processing plant into the sea through connected pipes without authority, in the year 2016, 2017, into the sea in Gunjur beach, contrary to Section 57 (1) (a) of the said authority of law.
They are also charged on count three with discharging waste water from their fish processing plant through connected pipes into the sea water in the same years contrary to Section 57 (1) (b) of the same authority.
On the final count, they are charged for failing to keep records of their activities, products and waste, required to be kept by the Company under this Act in the same years Contrary to Section 54 (1) (b) of the said authority above.
When the defendant (Company) refused to accept the charges in court, their counsel applied for an adjourment to familarise themselves with the charges since they were served on Friday. The prosecution objected saying they are ready to proceed with case. The trial Magistrate rule by saying for the interest of justice, the matter shall be adjourned to 4 July, 2017 for hearing.