By Mustapha Jallow

Residents of Brikama Kabafita have expressed concern over the air pollution caused by the emission of black-smoke within their surroundings. The residents made these and other comments on Tuesday March 19th to this reporter, that an anonymous Chinese Factory that operates within the Nyambai Forest Park, is the sole cause; that their lives are in danger as a result of the black smoke coming from the said factory, and this pollutes the air they breathe.

Tounko Manneh, a resident of the Kabafita Layout decried the black smoke that comes from the Chinese factory. “The authorities seem powerless to come out and inspect the factory or to stop them from operating within the area. This practice will destroy our climate. We find it difficult to sleep at night as a result of the emission of the black smoke by the factory. It is illegal to pollute the environment, and if the factory does not stop their illegal activity, legal action can be taken against them,’’ he said. “My kids are coughing seriously these days, and I suspect the cause to be the polluted air they inhale daily. It seems the authorities do not care much about our health, but I believe the Law will,’’ he stressed. Manneh called on the authorities to take urgent measures to address the situation.

Abdoulie Samateh, another resident of Kabafita said their health is at risk because of the dangerous smoke from the factory; that the pollution starts from 6pm upwards. “Whenever the wind blows, the black smoke pollutes the environment of our compounds. All the residents here open their windows to get the polluted air out of their houses. Some of our youth have planned protests against the pollution by this factory,’’ he said.

One Fatou Camara said she has stopped sitting on their veranda because of the pollution; that she has stayed in the area for years without problems until the factory started its operation in the forest.

When approached once again to shed more light on the cause of the black smoke, Filly Camara, the anonymous factory manager remarked: “We use black oil to burn the old tires.” Asked what they produce after burning the old tires, Filly said: “I will refer you to the factory owners.’’

When the reporter made another attempt to enter inside the factory, the manager again refused him entry and said: ‘We are told not to allow anybody to enter inside the factory.’’

Camara disclosed that they used tanker vehicles to transport black-oil into the factory; that the old tires are put in a big container with black oil poured on them and burned; that once the process is complete, the cooking of the mixture starts and a new process begins.

Attempts to get the comments of the National Environmental Agency (NEA) are yet unsuccessful. Foroyaa will continue making attempts to get the comments of the agency designated by law to ensuring an environmentally sustainable economic and social development and the well-being of the people.

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