President Adama Barrow

(JollofNews) – President Adama Barrow of the Gambia has accused a Gambian based Chinese-owned fishing factory at the centre of severe online criticisms of breaking the country’s environmental regulations.

Golden Leaf Factory in the coastal fishing village of Gunjur, Kombo South, is accused of releasing intense bad odour which is making people sick as well as destroying the country’s fish reserves and polluting the waters.

The management of the factory has denied the allegations which it described as untrue.

But the president said a recent fact-finding mission to the factory by his government’s officials  has found that the factory has not respected proper environmental requirements as they are expected to under correct waste management and disposal practices.

Writing on his Facebook page, Mr Barrow wrote: “I have followed developments relating to the environmental pollution of some of our coastal villages in the Gambia, particularly in the area of Gunjur Beach. My government officials have visited the Golden Lead Company in Gunjur and have concluded that the company has not respected proper environmental requirements as they are expected to under correct waste management and disposal practices.

It has also been brought to my attention that there has been some illegal fishing in the area, with some fishermen using the wrong equipment. This is resulting in the catching and dumping of juvenile fish along the beach.

Mr Barrow said while his government encourages and welcomes investment in the Gambia to promote the country’s economic growth and development, it maintains a firm position about protecting the environment and public health.

“Business practices must be environmentally friendly. We shall take all necessary action to ensure that current and future economic operators in the Gambia abide by the code of conduct expected of them,” he added.