By Madiba Singhateh
Bolong Fenyo Wetland in Gunjur is in a sorry state, with greenish oily substance polluting the marine ecosystem.
It was evident to this reporter when he conducted a tour of the area that a pipe linked a nearby factory empties waste products that flow to nearby lagoons.
The lagoons are not the only casualties of the pollution caused by the factory in Gunjur. The nearby beach is also in a sorry state. A pipe is seen lying on the surface of the beach. One of the pipes is buried underground around the fence of the factory and empties waste into the sea.
The poor state of the beach
The Ecosystem of Bolonyo Fenyo where the waste is emptied is managed by Gunjur Environmental Protection Association and Development (GEPAD )in collaboration with the department of Parks and wild life. The area, a wildlife reserved land, is protected as it serves as a breeding and nesting ground for turtle and waterfowls.
The wetland ecosystem is not utilized by wildlife species only but women folks also engage in vegetable gardening in the nearby lagoon.
Witnessing the environmental degradation that is taking place this reporter considered it necessary to weigh the concerns of the environmentalists against the views of the only industry in the area which had been cited as a possible source of the environmental problem.
Two attempts to get the views of the management of the factory were unsuccessful but Foroyaa will continue to persist until clear information comes from the company on the views being expressed by environmentalists which this reporter wanted to convey to the management for a response.
In order to draw the attention of the agency and the ministry to the unwholesome situation at the wetland and beach in Gunjur to get an opinion, this reporter contacted the permanent secretary who claimed that he was not aware but promised to investigate. This reporter has taken note of the concerns of the people and the environmentalists that will be put before the agency, the permanent secretary and the company in the area to get an objective opinion from them on these concerns. Public opinion should not be ignored. Public interest should not be disregarded. The issue of environmental degradation in Gunjur is a matter of public concern. The opinions of the people should be considered in any policy formulation.