Mountains of Bonga fish (Sardinella) are waiting next to the road to be transported and processed by the Chinese owned Golden Lead Factory in Gunjur. Since three years, this is happening on a huge scale while the average Gambian goes to bed hungry every night. It’s the sad truth of the ‘New Gambia’. The Minister of Fisheries and the fishmeal factories claim they are creating jobs and this should be seen as development.
The hard truth however is that none of these factories are offering a lot of jobs. The working conditions for Gambians are below any standards. No protective clothing is offered to the Gambian workers while the Chinese employers that are working in the same workfloor are wearing protective clothing. The few jobs that are generated by the factories are nothing compared to suffering that local villages have to endure. The environmental damage that these factories have caused the passed years are beyond any ones imagination.
Overfishing caused by foreign fishmeal factories is a huge problem in the food security of The Gambia.
The price of fishmeal have never been as high as it is today. The foreign run factories are making unbelieveble amounts of money. All the processed fish is exported straight back to China. This fishmeal is used to feed pigs and fish on China’s mega farms.
Fish has become unaffordable for the poorest
Local fishermen rather sell their fish to the Chinese owned factories, instead of the local markets. This is because the fishmeal factories give the fishermen a better price for their fish. Instead of piles of fish that used to go to local markets, these same piles of fish are now waiting to be picked up to be processed to pig feed. The only source of protein is becoming scarce and has become unaffordable for local people. This will affect the health of Gambians. Foreign investors are literally stealing the last fish of the poorest people of the planet. The saddest thing is, that the three fishmeal factories that are now operational, are fully supported by the Gambian Government.
Source: Green Wall Warriors / Mr. Famara Drammeh (Executive Director of Wildlife Conservation Trust- The Gambia