Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

BUILDING THE GAMBIA: STOP THE CHINESE COMPANY DESTROYING OUR FUTURE IN GAMBIA

May 17, 2017

 Hazardous waste disposal into the Atlantic ocean by Chinese Company

By Madi Jobarteh

A severe national security threat is unfolding in Gunjur, the hometown of the Majority Leader Kebba K Barrow. There is a Chinese company engaged in fishmeal production, which dumps its waste and dead fish along the coastline and neighboring communities. The factory releases intense bad odour making people sick as well as destroying our fish reserves and polluting the waters. This is a direct threat to the lives and livelihoods of the people of Gunjur, Kombo and the Gambia as a whole. Yet this company called Golden Leaf Factory continues to operate unchecked by the Government since last year until today, four months into the administration of Adama Barrow. Why?

Two Chinese, Robin and Jojo run the factory without any Gambian partners and under no check by any authority. They produce fishmeal or fish oil, which is made out of fish and used to feed poultry, pigs and other farmed fish. According to FAO fishmeal production is a major contributor to over-fishing and prevents fish from replenishing themselves thereby causing the collapse of local fisheries. This is because the fish used for fishmeal are small fishes like the ones our fishermen catch in Gunjur, Kartong, Tanji, Bakau or Banjul. After almost depleting their fish resources in China, now Chinese fishmeal companies have turned to West Africa and South America causing havoc in countries like Senegal, Chile and Peru. Experts have noted that fishmeal is a source of terrible environmental damage and human suffering.

So far Golden Leaf Factory is engaged in over-fishing in Gunjur and Kartong and destroying the coastline as well as the Bolongfehyoto wildlife reserve. The bad and dangerous odour the factory releases into the community is unbearable. Experts have noted that the factory right now threatens the productivity of sea grass, which marine turtles feed on. They also threaten the mangrove ecosystem because of the chemical waste they dump. This factory is therefore a threat to tourism and the economy of the Gambia. What is even more disheartening is that the fish they catch is not used for human consumption. Rather they use it to make fishmeal for animals all the way in China! But they are ready to destroy our lives all the way in the Gambia.

Who gave this company license to operate in the Gambia in the first place? Was there any social and environmental impact assessments done before they were awarded the license? Why would the responsible and relevant agencies of the government sit down to allow such abuse of the lives and future of the Gambia to take place with impunity?

Where is the National Assembly, the Ministries of Fisheries and Water Resources, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Tourism, the NEA, NDMA, GIEPA and GTB and indeed the Police? All these agencies have a direct responsibility and stake in any activity that negatively impacts on the lives, livelihoods and future of the Gambia. Yet they all sit there watching a foreign company plunder our lives and livelihoods for free! What about GCCI? Are they not aware of this practice by this company and what actions have they taken to ensure decent and responsible practices by businesses in the country?

I therefore call on the Speaker of the National Assembly Mariam Denton and her deputy Momodou Sanneh and the Majority Leader Kebba K Barrow and the Monitory Leader Samba Jallow and indeed all National Assembly Members to institute a parliamentary enquiry into this matter. Failure to do so, the National Assembly would be failing in their sacred duty to the Gambia. This matter is 100% within the powers and authority of the National Assembly to address and they must address it now. Golden Leaf Factory is destroying our lives and livelihoods with impunity!

I call on Chief Servant Adama Barrow to demand his relevant ministries and state agencies to act on this matter with urgency. The ocean is a major source of life and livelihood for the communities of Kombo and the Gambia as a whole. Tourism alone account for 21.9% of our GDP and providing 18.8% of jobs in the country hence the ocean is a precious product of this industry that must be protected. Thus any threat to the ocean affects thousands of Gambians for employment and for food. Why therefore would this company be given license to damage our future and lives with impunity?

The Gambia Government and indeed all African governments must be wary of Chinese companies. This is because the Chinese have proven to the world and Africa in particular that they do not care about human rights, human life and human health in their quest to greedily consume resources around the world. Chinese companies have engaged in unscrupulous and dangerous business practices even in China, how about in faraway tiny Gambia? China has a population of 1.3 billion people and a land size of 9.5 million square kilometers. The Gambia has a population of only 2 million and a land size of 11 thousand square kilometers. Hence what China can afford and waste the Gambia cannot afford that. Therefore we must not allow any foreign company especially from China to come to the Gambia to damage the lives and future of our people. If this is what GIEPA considers to be foreign investment then they are dangerously mistaken!

Whichever government agency gave license to this company must be exposed and held to account. It is clear that they have failed to do an impact assessment or merely ignored the results of such assessment if they did. Secondly this agency has failed to monitor this Chinese company in order to protect the vital interests of the Gambia. This company must not have been allowed to operate in the country at all. They must be closed down! Now.

I therefore call on all Gambians to rise up against this Chinese company and put pressure on the government to expose the truth about the license, the kind of business, the operations and management of this company. What has the Gambia benefited from them? How much money are they making in the Gambia? What damages have done so far? We need to know these issues and make sure they repair all the damages they caused and then close them down. Golden Leaf Factory poses a clear and direct threat to national security.

Gambian journalists should rush down to Gunjur and Kartong and report to us on matters that directly affect our lives. News is not only in Banjul and Serre Kunda. How come such a dangerous environmental, social and economic disaster is taking place in Gunjur since last year yet our journalists could not give it the publicity it deserves! Wake up Gambian Journalists!

Rise up Gambians and do not let our country to continue as usual since Independence. We deserve a better Gambia. We deserve better leadership and good government that is open, efficient and responsive to our needs, in the present and in the future.

#CloseDownGoldenLeafFactory

God Bless The Gambia.

158 Ex-CIRCUMCISERS OF THE GAMBIA LAUNCHED A NATIONAL NETWORK

October 29, 2015
Dr.Isatou Touray with Ex- Circumcisers

Dr.Isatou Touray with Ex- Circumcisers

A three day conference of 158 Ex-Circumcisers in the Gambia concluded with the formation of a Network of Ex- Circumcisers in the Gambia at the Pakalinding Lodge, Lower River Region. The conference funded by UNFPA brought together old and new circumcisers committed to end FGM in the Gambia from Upper River Region, Central River Region North, Lower River Region, Fuladu and three Niamina Districts supported by their Community Based Facilitators.

It enabled the ex- Circumcisers, celebrated from 2007 to 2013 to interact and share their experiences of their new status in protecting girls from FGM, as well as share their experiences of the benefits of the Alternative Employment Opportunity support they received from GAMCOTRAP, and discuss the challenges they faced and the way forward. It was also an opportunity to induct the 30 ex-circumcisers from the Niaminas who will be celebrated on the 25th of November 2015.

The meeting was chaired by Chief Alhagie Yahya Jarjusey a board member of GAMCOTRAP who was supported by five district chiefs in the Lower River Region.

In her opening remarks, The Executive Director of GAMCOTRAP Dr. Isatou Touray expressed appreciation of the positive changes realized by the Ex-circumcisers which has boosted their confidence and created greater respect for them in their communities. She highlighted the importance of empowerment and awareness in bringing about such changes and urged them to focus on the other positive roles they are playing to serve their people and continue to protect girls from FGM and Early Marriage.

The conference was graced by the Governor of the Lower River Region, Mr. Salief Puye who applauded the presence of the women. He underscored the importance of the meeting as it has brought together influential women who are well respected and honored in society to be part of the meeting. He acknowledged the hard work that the organization has embarked on over the three decades of existence which is indicated in the 2014 Annual Report circulated to him.

Ajaratou Fatou Njie the Regional Coordinator in her welcome statement informed participants of the relevance of the FGM campaign and the need to support women as a core step of the campaign. She reiterated that FGM affects innocent children who are subjected to the practice without their consent and choice. She expressed delight that all the six district chiefs in the Lower River Region were there to support the ex-circumcisers which is an indication of the importance of the meeting.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Chief Alhajie Demba Sanyang and Alhajie Anusumana Kanagie celebrated the ex-circumcisers for joining GAMCOTRAP to promote the health and welfare of women and children. They recalled the early periods of the campaign how it was difficult for GAMCOTRAP but with patience, commitment and dedication the outcome is very visible. The chiefs noted the progress registered on the FGM campaign over the years and the positive responses of the Ex-Circumcisers and all the communities. They expressed their continued support for the campaign to eradicate FGM and optimism that the Parliamentarians will respond to the call for a law to prohibit the practice.

The Ex-circumcisers made very rich testimonies reflecting their communal roles and their small scale businesses provided by the project. Amongst those who shared success stories was Kumba Damba of Makka Masireh who is operating a milling machine serving 15 communities in her cluster in Wuli East.

Amongst the issues recommended was the need for a national network of ex-circumcisers where they would meet and discuss as a group. They also called for support to sustain the AEO as well as provide refresher training on the management of AEO. It was emphasized that as Ex-Circumcisers they would come together to demand for a law prohibiting FGM and questioned why the state is not prohibiting FGM in the light of the several abandonments by circumcisers across the regions to end FGM. They strongly emphasized the non- replacement of circumcisers in their communities or allow mobile circumcisers to come into their communities.

In fulfilling one of the recommendations the conference participants unanimously nominated Aja Babung Sidibeh as President of the Network. In her acceptance speech she recalled the leadership roles she has played and continued to play in the development of the country and noted that it is a similar motivation that led her to be associated with the campaign to end FGM in the Gambia. Supporting her nomination, Aja Jontang Jawneh of Kuntaur a well known Circumciser who dropped her knife in 2013 told her colleagues that they will not regret choosing Aja Babung as their President because of her leadership skills and interest in promoting the rights of women and children. They recommended that annual conference of ex-circumcisers Network be held and suggested that the venue be rotated to different regions of the Gambia. They also called for regional networks of ex-circumcisers to facilitate communication amongst members, registration and resource mobilization to support the network. They pledged to come up with a plan of action for the Network.

In his closing remark, Chief Yaya Jarjusey also a board member of GAMCOTRAP, encouraged the organization to continue the good work in promoting the rights of women and equal participation of women and men in decision making. He advised the Ex-Circumcisers to stand firm in their decision to end FGM and to share the knowledge gained.

Meanwhile, GAMCOTRAP has concluded a three day consultation held in Dankunku, Pinai and Kerewan Touray in the three Niamina districts. The consultation was to build consensus on ending FGM in the region and plan for the upcoming Dropping of the Knife celebration, a public declaration to be made by 30 Circumcisers and 115 communities scheduled for 25th November 2015 at Jareng, in Niamina East of the Central River Region of the Gambian. The consensus building brought together community leaders including Alkalolu, women and youth leaders, Circumcisers in the districts and community based facilitators to finally reach consensus on the eradication of FGM in the region. After a consensus was reached in the presence of their district chiefs they engaged on the planning and preparations for a public declaration to end FGM in their communities and protect girls from FGM, early marriage and other forms of violence against women and girls.

Source: GAMCOTRAP Press Release

GAMBIA GOVERNMENT ADMITS MALNUTRITION CONTROL FAILURE

October 10, 2015
Vice President Dr. Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy

Vice President Dr. Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy

Gambia government has admitted its failure on the fight against malnutrition which has been affecting many children and pregnant women in the country

This was contained in statement delivered

by the Vice President and Minister responsible for Women’s Affairs, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, at the Sheraton Hotel. She made the remarks while delivering her opening statement on the Post-Congress workshop of the III World Congress of Public Health Nutrition.

According to Madam Njie Saidy, despite some achievements over the years in food security, which led to the award to The Gambia by FAO for reducing undernourishment, childhood malnutrition still remains a problem in the country.
“The Demographic and Health Survey (2013) has revealed that stunting – being too short for age – affects 25 per cent of children under five in the country, while wasting – being too thin for height – affects 12 per cent of the under-five population”.
Micronutrient deficiencies, especially iron deficiency anaemia, vitamin A deficiency and iodine deficiency disorders are also prevalent to a mild-moderate degree in the country, she said.

“Many third world countries, including The Gambia, are now faced with the double burden of malnutrition with the emergence of diet-related non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cancers”.
“This is compounded by the vagaries of climate change with its attendant negative consequences such as late onset of rains, erratic rainfall, early cessation of rainfall, floods and droughts that further exacerbate the already fragile household food security situation,” VP Njie-Saidy added.

According to Vice president Njie Saidy, Gambia is a member of international organisations, including the ECOWAS Nutrition Forum under the West Africa Health Organisation and the Scaling Up of Nutrition (SUN) Movement established by the UN Secretary General to promote better coordination in the field of nutrition and to fight against malnutrition.
“SUN under the UN is a unique movement founded on the principle that all people have a right to food and good nutrition,” she further stated.

She further revealed that their partnership with Nutrition without Borders with the establishment of first CREN in Basse Mansanjang URR and recently in Soma LRR, the nutrition rehabilitation centres are really contributing to the reduction of the drop in infant mortality observed in the country.

“WHO WILL HELP SAFE MY DAUGHTER?” DESPERATE MOTHER’S CRY FOR HELP

March 29, 2015
AMINATA' LEFT LEFT

AMINATA’ requires overseas help to treat her left leg!

AMINATA KARAMOKO

Aminata Karamo Krubally – seeks your kind assistance

A single parent Gambian mother, Mrs Aminata Krubally from Brufut Village, Kombo North, appeals for assistance to facilitate her 11 years old daughter, Miss Aminata Karamoko Krubally’s overseas treatment.

The young girl was involved in a serious car accident on 6th February 2015, when a runaway careless and callous driver run-her-over and left her to the mercy of death. She fortunately survived the accident after the kind assistance of the doctors and nurses at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul, where she was taken admitted.

The results of her injuries sustained had left her with a ring like scar on the mid-thigh of her left leg. Due to the depth and steepness of the wound and the resulting scar, she suffers cold pulse to the rest of her left leg and unable to feel any response to the stimulus of her leg. This means she is currently unable to move using that leg.

Due to lack of expert Neurosurgeon in private and public sector medical provider to assist address this deformity, the young girl’s mother has been advised to find overseas treatment for her.

However, her mother is a single parent, who is currently unemployed and had lost the young girl’s father 8 years ago; she seeks the kind and generous financial assistance of all kind hearted Gambians and non-Gambians alike to help her facilitate her daughter’s overseas treatment.

“I have spent all my savings on transport fares, traditional treatments and medical bills to help my daughter, but there was no improvement at home. These have exhausted my account leaving me with no choice but to seek for help from anyone no matter how little it is. Every week I have to buy medicine to keep her condition from worsening and now I have no money to carry on with it.” Tearful Aminata Krubally pleaded to Kibaaro News.

Aminata’s mother and family want to take her to Dakar for immediate medical care and for that reason implores the kind generosity of everyone. Kibaaro Management implores all our benevolent readers and audiences to kindly assist, as you have done for similar appeals in the past.

The following people can be contacted for assistance, Ms Aminata Krubally herself in the Gambia on telephone: (00220) 9862330 or (00220) 7376207.

Those in Sweden can contact Mr ALHAGIE SALIEU NJIE. For those in USA, around the Washington area can contact Mr BABA HYDARA. Those in Netherland can contact Mr LAMIN SADDAM SANYANY. And those in the United Kingdom can contact Mr BAMBA SERING MASS.

Those in UK who wants to donate and make payment to the following account details:

Bank: Barclays; Account Name: Mr Bamba Mass; Account Sort Code: 20-23-55; Account Number: 03417816

Alternatively, you can follow the link below to sponsor and/or donate generously towards young Amina’s overseas medical treatment.

Here is the gofundlink http://www.gofundme.com/pevp4w

Click here to support Amanita’s medical fund by Mai Muna Kanyi

www.gofundme.com

TOY BOY BECOMES STUCK INSIDE HIS MARRIED LOVER AFTER SUFFERING ‘PENIS CAPTIVUS’ DURING SEX

February 28, 2015
A CURIOUS CROWD AT THE SCENE

A CURIOUS CROWD AT THE SCENE

BY TED THORNHIL

Police had to be called in to restore order after a crowd gathered to see a cheating wife and her lover locked together during sex after the rumour spread that her husband had asked a witch doctor to put a curse on her private parts. And although medical experts say the embarrassing experience was more likely a case of ‘penis captivus’, in which the woman’s vagina had contracted too much and trapped the man’s penis, they were unable to stop the rumour and the mob had quickly assembled.

Local media said that unfaithful Sasha Ngema, 34, had reportedly been romping with toy boy Sol Qoboza, 22, at a rented apartment in the city of Johannesburg in South Africa while her husband was away on business. According to the story that spread like wildfire through the neighbourhood, they found they could not separate afterwards apparently because suspicious hubby Neill, 42, had gone to a witch doctor who put the curse on his wife’s private parts before he left. The spell, known as a muthi, is designed to make sure that if someone other than the husband tries to have sex with the woman in question; he will remain stuck until the husband returns to extract his revenge.

The shocked couple began calling for help, which soon turned into screams as they became more desperate for him to withdraw, according to local media. Neighbour Priscilla Ndlovu, 34, said: “At first I thought it was just the screams of sexual pleasure, but it turned out to be screams for help. I knocked on the door to see if everything was OK, and when I went in I saw him lying on top of her sobbing as she screamed to be freed”.

News of the curse quickly spread and by the time police arrived over 2,000 people had swarmed onto the street outside the apartment block demanding to see the cheating couple. A police spokesman said: “We had to use pepper spray to disperse the crowd as they refused to leave and were causing huge problems”. Local woman Janet Pieterse, 35, said: “Everyone was curious to see what was happening because although you always hear about such things you never see it. The police’s reaction was completely over the top”.

The couple were reportedly taken away by an ambulance that had been called to the scene. It took the pair to a local hospital but local magic specialist Sangoma Mathabo Mofokeng said: “No one will be able to separate them until the woman’s husband comes back”. However, medics said although rare it was possible that a man’s penis could become trapped inside the woman in exceptional circumstances.

In October last year for example Italian media reported how a couple’s plan for an outdoor romp in the sea ended in agony when they became stuck together during sex. The Italian couple had reportedly taken advantage of a warm day and an isolated beach in the Marche region of Italy by going for a skinny dip in the sea, and embracing in a passionate clinch. But the passion soon became embarrassment and pain when they realised they were unable to pull away from one another after sex at sea. A woman who was passing by on the beach came to the amorous couple’s rescue and called emergency services. She handed them a towel to protect their modesty as they sheepishly scrambled back on to the beach, still ‘as one’ the newspaper reported. They were taken to a local hospital, where a doctor freed them by giving the woman an injection to dilate her uterus.

Penis captivus is a rare occurrence in intercourse when the muscles in the vagina clamp down on the penis much more firmly than usual (a form of vaginismus), making it impossible for the penis to withdraw from the vagina. Two papers published by 19th-century German gynaecologists Scanzoni and Hildebrandt, had dealt with cases of the condition. Scanzoni’s patient was ‘a completely healthy young woman, married for six months’. She and her husband had to abstain from sexual intercourse because her intense vaginal contractions were ‘most painful to him and… did on several occasions end in a spasm… which sometimes lasted more than ten minutes and made it impossible for the couple to separate’.

SOURCE: DAILYMAIL.CO.UK

KARAMO SANNEH URGENTLY NEEDS YOUR ASSISTANCE, PLEASE HELP

February 5, 2015
KARAMO SANNEH-NEEDS YOU.

KARAMO SANNEH-NEEDS YOU.

Karamo Sanneh, a 37-year-old Gambian, resident of Tallinding in the Kanifing Municipality is in dire need of urgent financial help to go for an overseas medical treatment. According to a medical report from the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH), Karamo was referred from Medical Research Council (MRC) in May 2012 with diagnosis of membrane-proliferative-glomerulonephritis type I, with active microangiopathic and tubular atrophy. In other words, he is a known chronic renal disease patient who immediately needs medical attention to save his life. He is being followed up

He is being followed up at the Nephrology Unit since then.  Recently, he started experiencing abdominal distension, bilateral pedal oedema, general weakness and occasional dizziness. Sanneh is a family man who depends only on him for their sustenance and there is nobody to take care of his family. Please for the sake of goodness and kindness help Karamo get the medical attention he urgently needs. No penny or pound will be small. Donate generously to safe Karamo and his family.

In this regard, he appeals to the government, NGOs, philanthropists, private sector and individuals both home and abroad to come to his aid. Please…please…please help Karamo Sanneh. Anyone willing to help Karamo Sanneh can contact him on the following numbers: (+220) 9921225/9119983.

A GRADE 5 GIRL SEXUALLY VIOLATED IN BASSE

October 30, 2014

STOP RAPING OUR DAUGHTERS

STOP RAPING OUR DAUGHTERS

IGP SONKO

IGP SONKO

Recently, the Upper River Region administrative area has been inundated with graphic rape cases of under aged girls as young as 10. Basse which was known for its hospitality, amazing landscape and cosy night clubs has meandered into a sinister dwelling for the Basse girl child. The outrageous rape on Sunday of a grade five pupil in the Upper River Region (URR) calls for concerted efforts to curb this increasing menace in it bud once and for all by all and sundry in the region particularly its authorities.

Kibaaro News informant disclosed that the unremorseful felon, Mr S.C, had been molesting the 10 year old girl, whose name has been withheld for legal reasons, for day after severing her tender and fragile virginity on Thursday before his luck extinguished. The 35 year old divorcee is currently helping the Basse Police in their investigation over the alleged rape case. The police remained tied lip by refraining from shedding any light on the case.

Unlike the police, the Regional Education Director for Region 6, Claudine Cole did not hesitate in registering her profound displeasure of the inhumane molestation of her pupil. Speaking to the press, she rebukes: “Such kinds of incidents are so sad and I am deeply frustrated to hear the raping of school children in the region”.  She went further to inform the press that her office is doing all it takes to ensure that students are protected from all forms of sexual abuses as her department continues its immense sensitisation campaign.

The educationist implored parents to be more vigilant and take proper care of their children particularly by monitoring their movements after school hours.  “We have a radio programme every week in Basse during which we talk to parents about the reoccurrence of rape cases and early marriage among others in the region,” she concluded.

Also reacting to this latest series of unsettling rapes cases in the region was Mr Kebba Susso, chairperson of the region’s Parent Teacher Association. Mr Susso urges the security and social services to wake up from their slumbers and tackle this monstrous crime head on. “Concerted efforts are urgently required from all stakeholders in the region to put their hands on deck in ushering out this scandalous crime from our midst. Parents must equally step up and execute their fundamental obligations and duties”, charged Mr Susso. He pressures severe action to be taken against the perpetrators to deter others from venturing into the despicable felony. “We are working very closely with the Police, Education and Social Welfare departments to foster awareness on the consequences of rape on both victims and perpetrators and its health implications”, he assured the press.

Basse is a closely-knitted society and its sons and daughters should not stand by and watch it fall in disarray. The youth force should start policing its community by reporting any suspected felon to the alkalo, chief and police. Basse belongs to us all and only us can develop and protect it.