China has through its Ambassador to The Gambia, condemned the burning of a Chinese Fishmeal factory in The Gambia. The embassy has been criticized for its indifference to environmental havoc caused by Chinese fishing companies operating in The Gambia
The Chinese Ambassador who was speaking to the Press expressed disappointment and China’s “firm opposition” to the assault on a Chinese Fishmeal Factory by angry youth protestors in The Gambia, West Africa.
On March 16, 2021, angry youth protestors, mostly natives of Sanyang Village, burnt down a Chinese own fishmeal Company following the murder of 30-year-old, Gibril Ceesay a native of Sanyang village in the southern part of The Gambia by a Senegalese employee of the Chinese owned Nassim Fishmeal Company.
Nassim Fishmeal Company is one of three Chinese-owned fishmeal plants operating the coastline of The Gambia. The two others are the JXYG factory in Kartong and the Golden Lead Fishmeal Factory Company in Gunjur. All of them are under intense criticism for their utter disregard for safe and friendly environmental industrial operations, especially on their waste disposal methods.
Ambassador Ma Jianchun challenged the natives of the Sanyang who have “some uncomfortable feelings” about the presence and operations of the Chinese factory in their community to address their frustrations through dialogue and the law.
“If foreign investors do violate local laws and regulations, the problem should be solved through the legal channels,” Ambassador Ma Jianchun told journalists.
In his argument, Ambassador Ma Jianchun declared that the Chinese are “INNOCENT” in all accounts as regards the incident that led to the burning down of the Chinese-owned factory, Nassim Fishmeal Factory in Sanyang.
“As far as the incident of March 16 is concerned, the Chinese people and their African colleagues in the Nassim Fishmeal Factory are totally innocent,” he declared.
Factory Not Harmful To Environment
While urging the government of The Gambia to conduct a swift investigation on the matter and provide security to Chinese operators in The Gambia, the ambassador further declared that the Chinese fishmeal factories are not causing any harm to the environment.
“The Chinese Embassy conducted some investigations and we learned that those factories do not use any harmful chemical or heavy metal substance during the processing of the fish. The so-called pollution actually comes from the water which remains of the processed fish. Such water contains organic substances. A proper solution to this wastewater problem is to build a long pipe to lead the water to the sea. Such water actually provides abundant nutrition. In some parts of China, some farmers buy this wastewater to fish in ponds. If they release this water into the sea, it will do no harm to the environment,” the Ambassador said.
According to him, all the Chinese fishmeal factories are following all friendly environmental guidelines issued by National Environmental Agency (NEA).
“The factory follows all requirements. This is what we learned from our investigations,” He lamented.
However, environmentalists and political commentators across The Gambia have reacted to the comments of the Ambassador, with many describing it as disrespectful and insensitive of the current plight and frustration of the people of Sanyang. Many are calling on the Government to summon the ambassador for questioning.