By: Omar Malmo Jnr
The government of The Gambia (past and present) and big businesses are the biggest violators of Human Rights and Freedom in the Gambia. The Gambia as a country has signed and ratified many UN conventions, domesticated the language of these conventions in her laws but cannot be felt in the day-to-day dealings of society.
The Faraba Bantang natural resource conflict that left three dead and many injured, property destroyed and social cohesion disintegrated was born out of human rights violations, nepotism, favoritism and government negligence. The women garden was to become a mining site. The gardens where these poor rural women earn a living, feed, cloth, shelter and pay medical and school Bill’s for their children etc which is their fundamental human right to life and property. Their lands forcefully taken for a private mining business that resulted to the death of three. A violation of their rights. Environmental resource conflict is a threat to human rights and dignity.
In Gunjur, Golden Lead is exploiting our fisheries resources at an unsustainable way and backed by our government and the Ministry of Fisheries in particular. The poor rural women are subjected to less food availability for their families, poor state of socioeconomic activities and environmental pollution. All mankind have a right to decent living, if our source of livelihood is destroyed, that is indirect destruction of lives.
The last sand dune in Gunjur is under mining. The place is a women garden. These women use the garden to produce their crops and feed their families and their other basic needs. The women are now forced to result to other means of survival as their only means of survival is now destroyed by government and callous capitalists.
The youth got arrested and detained. The community has a pending case against golden lead where judges often fail to appear. All men have a right to law.
This and many others kept me asking, how far have we gone in defending the rights of our people and our so-called women empowerment initiatives?
The poor rural Gambian women continue to be victims of a system that should protect them.
Poor environmental management is significant of a human rights violation.
TRI HITA KARANA.
Omar is an ardent environmentalist: He has his Master’s in Environmental Resource Management and Development. He is an Environmental activist, Co-Founder and the Director of Research and Advocacy at Green-Up Gambia