By Yerro Ba
No one can tell you anything about mining in The Gambia except the President. Many fear even if Oil is discovered in The Gambia, it will be a similar situation. The wealth will belong to only one person.
The Kartong situation must be understood as a spontaneous one. The youths of Kartong have written letters to authorities to stop the mining of sand especially in their farmlands. The grievance is that the agreement stated that a percentage of the income goes to Kartong which is not being honoured. Thirdly, the youths are being made aware by the PDOIS [People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism] during their community engagement exercise that if they are at the helm of affairs, a percentage will be provided to the village for development purposes and that’s what should happen with all governments.
The youths took a copy of their letter to Foroyaa which has made it known that it is a right for Kartong to get a share of whatever is being accrued from the mining there. Consultations have been made to the extent that youths had no hope that justice will be done. So the youth decided to take the bull by the horn by stopping the drivers from tipping sand. The drivers called the authorities who sent in security and a spontaneous fracas did take place between the youths and the security. Of course the youths did not seek advise before they take action. It is their impatience that justice is not served, perhaps based on their experience.
Kartong is isolated from the next big village Gunjur who like Sanyang and Bato Kunku are equally affected by mining and there was no communication between the villages, but all are aware and are not happy with what is happening there.
Sidia Jatta [former National Assembly Member for Wuli West] once asked the president in Parliament as to how much is accrued for government from the mining in this coastal areas but Isatou Njie Saidy told him the mining activity is a private business, meaning government gets nothing from it. So the truth is government gets nothing from the mining of minerals from these areas. The Geology department is not in control of what obtains there, according to my sources the Gambian leader can tell you something about it. A similar thing obtains in Badari in Tumana district where a mineral was found in a nearby bush. Now a White person is working with a team and mining there for over 4 years now on a continuous basis. No one can tell you anything about mining in The Gambia except the President. Many fear even if Oil is discovered in The Gambia, it will be a similar situation. The wealth will belong to only one person.
It is good that the youths have shown that they are not only aware of the wrongs but they are oppose to what obtains in their environment. The sad thing is those who want to make a political capital out of it are not helping the youth cause. The youth are not interested in the politics of it but the economics of it. Infact they said they have not engaged in protest or riot. So it may just have been a fracas and how it happens will be explained in court.
The young people are always involve in protest of one sort or another. Haven’t the UTG students not marched against the increase of fees at the university? The state is always negotiating with them to calm them. Are they not negotiating with the elders of Kartong to calm the young people? We have to see things as evolving because they are interconnected rather than thinking that one incident will be responsible for sparking protest for change. The work of educating and enlightening the people must go on.
Another PDOIS supporter with his own version of the story . Speaking from political perspective, giving credit to pdois for this protest ., my source is very different from yours which didn’t mention any party because their issue is apolitical. How can foroyaa made them known it is their rights , is foroyaa a newspaper or political party . I think it is a newspaper . The only explanation I agree here is dictator jammeh is the only beneficiary and he is the common enemy who needs to be eliminated or removed by any means necessary. Any or other thing is petty talk . Jammeh is the clown who we all hate and despise period .
Maxs, you know I once told you that you have no open mind but simply someone disgruntled by the Jammeh regime and all your arguments are simply PDOIS bias but you argued vehemently that you are not what I said you are.
See yourself asking this question: “How can foroyaa made them know it is their rights , is foroyaa a newspaper or political party . I think it is a newspaper.” Let me bring Foroyaa editorial and their question of the day from their website where I quoted what I said.
Foroyaa editorial of Issue No. 216
THE COMPLAINTS MADE THROUGH THE MEDIA SHOULD BE TAKEN AS WRITINGS ON THE WALL
Mature government officials would read the papers every morning to find out the major concerns of the people and take initiatives to address them before tempers flare.
Kartong is a classic example of insensitivity and irresponsiveness to popular concerns and demands.
Foroyaa did learn about the grievances of the residents of Kartong in a letter to the editor. Instead of relying on the observation of one person, the paper conducted interviews with the villagers, including village authorities.
The common view is that mining is eroding the environment in Kartong without providing any material gain to the villagers.
One would have expected the Minister of the Environment, Climate Change,Water Resources and Wild life to immediately send experts to engage the residents of Kartong to discuss the way forward since the degradation of the environment was at the top of the agenda of the villagers.
We hope the Minister would take immediate action to deal with the situation.
Foroyaa will continue the advocacy for environmental impact assessment on the mining in Kartong to be conducted and for benefits to accrue to the village. These are legitimate demands deserving the urgent attention of government.
Foroyaa-Question of The Day- Issue No. 216
SHOULD A GOVERNMENT GIVE LICENCE FOR MINING TO BE DONE WITHOUT ANY CONTRACT WITH A COMMUNITY TO ENSURE THAT IT ENJOYS BENEFITS?
A People centred Government would ensure that the mineral resources of a country would provide sovereign national wealth to a country to promote infrastructural development and cooperative projects to eradicate poverty.
Wherever mining is to take place an environmental impact assessment would be done to ensure that environmental degradation is prevented and communities are given percentages of the jobs and earnings for community development.
This is the only way to do justice to communities and the sovereign people. Any Government which fails to do this is a failure.
Maxs, Foroyaa is a newspaper which does not only give information but also amplifies the voices and concerns of especially those who would not otherwise have their voices heard through other media especially the public media.
Yerro Ba , what you should have said was foroyaa conducted an interview with villagers to highlight their grievances.
One point you stated that” the youths are being made aware by the Pdois during their community engagement exercise that if they are at the helm of affairs, a percentage will be provided to the village for development purposes and that’s what should happen with all governments ” .
The above quotation is what makes your contributions partisan politics because you have quoted PDois when infact it is foroyaa who wrote similar quote in their paper , there is distinction between foroyaa and pdois. From my sources , no political party engage the villagers about this issue and that is why they didn’t want it to be political issue because it affects the whole village. This is their perspective. Quoting PDois in your write up simply Made the issue political one became one can assume that it is through the influence of PDOIS that youths took actions or protested as you stated that their awareness came from the engagement with PDOIS. You are speaking from narrow partisan politics and to give credit to PDois. Stop your indoctrinated partisan view . Foroyaa is newspaper which will publish this kind of story as they have done in many situations regarding disappearance, illegal detention ,many human rights violations and anything that affects communities across the country. If PDois is totally behind this protest through their influence in awareness of the rights of villagers to have certain percentage given to them from mining, then foroyaa will also publish such stories because PDois programs and engagements are usually published in foroyaa newspapers.
With regard to whether I am open-minded or not , I think fair minded people will make that Judgement. I just want to make distinction between PDois and foroyaa , in this case it is foroyaa which made the interview and they also educated the public about what should have been done in terms of environmental assessment and what responsible government should do .
Off course you have described me as disgruntled because I despise this president from the day he came to our national stage ( 1994) because I knew he is a criminal liar who came to destroy our country . If you are happy with status quo and want him to continue, I must tell you and your type , we the patriotic Gambians who are unhappy, disgruntled and mad about the corrupt leadership of idiotic tyrant are doing everything to remove him from power dead or alive .
“What country before ever existed a century & a half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms . What signify a few lives lost in a century or two ? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure ” Thomas Jefferson
Mad…I think election is the best way to go in removing Jammeh from power. Any form of violence as you are advocating is unacceptable and believe me, unless you are a non Gambian, your family lives there too.
Jammeh’s term was mandated by 72% of Gambian voters. If you genuinely want changes why are you babbling here like a parrot and not joining the opposition for next year’s presidential election.
These thugs in Kartong should know better and hopefully they are taught a good lesson. Violence is not a solution to any problem.
Thomas Jefferson was a slave master; am sorry. Please give me quotations from Mandela, MLK, Bob Marley, Garvey….
Instigating violence and making lies will not unseat Jammeh because majority of the Gambian people are peaceful people.
Maxs, i’m not clear as to what you are arguing. What i said is precisesly what you are repeating; that people should not try to make a political capital out of Kartong. This is what i said: “The sad thing is those who want to make a political capital out of it are not helping the youth cause. The youth are not interested in the politics of it but the economics of it. Infact they said they have not engaged in protest or riot. So it may just have been a fracas and how it happens will be explained in court.”
I did not say PDOIS is behind the protest, i only mentioned Pdois’ community engagement exercise in all the villages in the Kombos enlightening them on their right to a percentage of the proceeds accrued from the mining as stipulated in the PDOIS Agenda 2016. And i said everything that is being done should be seen as evolving as they are interconnected rather than thinking that one incident will be responsible for sparking protest for change.
“The above quotation is what makes your contributions partisan politics because you have quoted PDois when infact it is foroyaa who wrote similar quote in their paper, there is distinction between foroyaa and pdois.”
Maxs, i was citing what PDOIS did and what Foroyaa did which are all enlightening on the issue. For your information this is what PDOIS said in Kartong and all across the country on this issue and i quote:
On Economic Transformation, Pdois’ Strategic Objective is
“Building a self reliant economy aimed at eradicating poverty and ensuring prosperity, equity and sustainable development.”
On the Policy Directives it said:
“The Public sector will be the engine for safeguarding general prosperity and welfare by accumulating sovereign National wealth and mobilising sustainable loans, to build infrastructure and provide social services. The Public Sector would mobilise Sovereign National Wealth from mining and other extracting industries; dividends from public enterprises and other public investments. Heavy minerals such as Illmenite, Rutile and Zircon have been found in the coastal strip of Bato Kunku, Sanyang and Kartong by Carnegie minerals before it ended its operations in The Gambia. There are also prospects for oil production and other minerals.”
Pdois also explained the Action Plan and that is:
“A sovereign National Wealth fund shall be maintained by village Councils, District Councils and Regional Councils into which a percentage of all incomes from minerals in a given area, or royalties from use of natural resources of the area and other incomes would be deposited to promote the development of the respective sectors. The percentage to be awarded to each sector would be determined by negotiation and legitimised through contract.”
I am saying based on these ideas the villages are enlightened on their rights regarding this issue which in addition to other efforts including the experiences of the villagers themselves has resulted to the youths venting their anger. And i said they did not do sure for political gain but an economic one.
Your problem is that you don’t want to hear about what efforts done by PDOIS, that’s why you are calling it a narrow partisan politics. What is considered narrow is what eventually adds up to become an enlarged national issue. I say they are interconnected.
Yerro Ba , I know you will never accept any responsibility about your misquote of PDois in this article because it is the nature of some of you. Making reference to PDois agenda 2016 is another way of justifying your point but it is irrelevant since the villagers are well aware of environmental hazards and lack of benefits in the whole process before your party agenda was formulated., when did PDois engage the villagers about this issue ? What I learned was that there was no political party which engaged the villagers about this mining in past six months . If that is the case , why you made reference to PDois as the one which brought awareness of this issue to the villagers instead of you to indicate that it was foroyaa which educate the public about it . You should have simply say it was foroyaa which brought awareness of the issue to the public as evidenced by their interview and publications and do not quote PDois in your write up as there is no evidence of their village meetings in kartong according to my sources. But as usual you will argue repeatedly but you will never accept any responsibility.
Malang, the problem with you is you are very dishonest and selfish individual. You have refused to answer any of my questions. I will again ask you , if jammeh killed your father as he has murdered koro ceesay , Ebou lowe , Ebou Ceesay , Daba marenah , Hydara and many others , would still support him ? If jammeh confiscated your father’s land or business, would you still support him ? If jammeh illegally kidnapped your father and put in prison for ten years without taking him to court or committing any crime, would you still support him ? All these questions are legitimate ones because they are real victims of jammeh but you failed to give answers to these questions. It is because of these questions that we said jammeh is evil president.
You said majority of are peaceful people but what you didn’t say was that jammeh brought terrorism and fear in gambia. If your father was killed, would you still claimed that majority of Gambian are peaceful. If your father was imprisomed, would you still claimed that there is peace in The Gambia?
You have every right and reason not to support Jammeh. People also have every rights and reasons to support him. We all have our personal stories within the past 21 years. I excuse myself from elaborating on that. I am not involved in retail politics.
We the Gambian people have a university, schools, clean drinking water for villagers, roads, rural electrification, hospitals and clinics especially for villagers and many more because of jammeh leadership.
My thing is, if ppp would have done their job jammeh would never come to existence.
Jammeh can go next year. But only if we the Gambian people are honest with each other and form a coalition. Why ain’t we talking about that.
If you think violence will remove Jammeh then it is clear to me that you have not lived in the Gambia for a long time or you have not visited there lately. I am totally against all kinds of violence and likewise Gambian people.