By Madiba Singhateh
World Environment Day 2019 was celebrated yesterday June 20th with the theme: Air Pollution.
The celebration was attended by government officials and in particular the Environment Minister Lamin B Dibba.
In his speech to the gathering, Environment Minister Dibba said this year’s commemoration of the day which is hosted by China, calls on the people of the world to do something about the quality of the air we breathe and urged governments, industries, communities and individuals, to come together to explore renewable energy and green technologies and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world.
The Minister said from the air pollution facts provided by the United Nations, 92 percent of people worldwide do not breathe clean air; that this costs the global economy $5 trillion every year on welfare costs. He said the Gambia Government through the National Environment Agency (NEA), will continue to support interventions aimed at informing and educating the people on sound and effective environmental management practices to assure sustainability of their actions.
Also speaking at the gathering was the Executive Director of the NEA Mommodou Joma Suwareh, who dwelled on air pollution and the actions needed to mitigate it. Suwareh said air pollutants are from natural resources that are used on a daily basis; that the atmosphere is our immediate environment. He added the slightest pollution on its purity is easily felt and noticed.
He said the NEA as a Government institution responsible for the coordination and regulation of all environmental matters in the country will continue to monitor the enhancement of sustainable environmental standards by strengthening and enforcing regulations to address air pollution and all other environmental related pollution.
The Managing Director of ‘Karpowership’ Yankuba Mambury, the sponsors of this year’s commemoration, harped on the importance on the subject. He advised people to be aware of climate issues and urged every Gambian to support the NEA in their endeavors in this crusade.
Thirteen Schools collaborated in this year’s commemoration. The event was witnessed by a march-pass of these Schools and other participants from West Field to NEA headquarters.