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Published On: Mon, Nov 13th, 2023

Sino Majilak Jalbak Company Set To Solve Environmental Disaster Coastal Sand Mining Causes

The management of the Sino Majilak Jalbak (SMJ) Investment Company Limited has revealed their intents to help solve the environmental disaster that has been happening in the country, particularly in the area of coastal sand mining for the past 26 years.

The SMJ Company came into existence in the country since 5 years ago and started its actual operation 3 years ago.

This initiative was revealed to journalists by the management of the SMJ Company during a day-long site visits held on Thursday aimed to inform media houses SMJs planned activities and objective of land reclamation to restore the environmental destruction along the Kombo South coastal side.

Objectives of the company includes to retrieve the already destroyed 16km to 17km coastal communities of Batokunku, Tujereng, Sanyang, Gunjur and Kartong coast sites by sand mining activities over the years which would be done through SMJs Sea dredging initiatives to restore for effective land utilization in the affected communities. The objectives of the SKM Company includes to provide sand for construction.

According to Banka Manneh, SMJ Public Relations Manager, he said “due to the gravity of the destruction of these areas by sand mining, it had long forced women gardeners to evacuate their gardens which has badly affected their farming activities.”  

He explained that it is currently impossible for these lands to be used for any purpose, except it is reclaimed though effective sea dredging.

He said that the new project which is the first of its kind in The Gambia is geared towards fully addressing the destruction caused by coastal sand quarries over the years, in their pursuit of sand construction.

“The deep trenches and coastal destruction left by years of mining will be refilled and rehabilitated through land reclamation from the sea,” he said.

He noted that “SMJ has procured a new ocean dredger, currently moored at Denton Bridge, for the sole purpose of the coastal land reclamation project. Consultations and discussions are ongoing with the Government of The Gambia for a formal agreement and Contract to start the project.”

He informed journalists that their facilities, include a new sand washing machine (first of its kind in The Gambia).

H stated that the SMJ Company has secured an ocean dredger to reclaim all the destroyed coastal communities of Batokunku, Tujereng, Sanyang, Gunjur and Kartong coast sites.

Manneh advanced that SMJ is the first dredging company in the Gambia that started dredging sand for commercial construction in the country.

For his part, Alhagie Moodou Samateh, managing director at Sino Majilak Jalbak also revealed that there is a hug deposition of sand around the oyster creek at the Denton Bridge and Banjul.

Samateh told journalists that for the provision of sand for construction, the NRA needed about 75% of the test of the sand, but the SMJ sand scored about 95%, which is sufficient for what they need.

He said the SMJ Company also secured sand washing and screening machines among other equipment for the OIC project, which he said came about when the OIC had some issues of sand for their ongoing road construction.

“We have excavators, floaters, and pipes for the restoration of the old quarries which we are currently discussing with the government. Ones we have agreed on terms, we will start that work. When we heard that the OIC people needed this specification of sand, we went ahead and got the equipment for the government so that this work can continue.”

Samateh further dwelled on a feasibility report, for the coastal protection study in December 2000, made by Haskoning B.V. Consulting engineers and architects, Netherlands for the Gambia government.

He said the objectives of the study was to determine the causes of beach erosion and sedimentation along the coastline, including sedimentation near the ferry terminal at Barra.

He added that the report recommended protective measures to mitigate the problem.

He pointed out that the summary of the conclusion of the report stated that along the coast, between the oyster creek, erosion is the result of the local accumulation of sand in the spit at tall point behind the GGC and Wander garden, 3.5 coastal protection study.

He further explained that the report states that the sand spit accumulates between 60, 000 to 80,000 m3 per year.  However, he revealed that SMJ Company also secured sand washing and screening machines among other equipment for the OIC project. This, he said came about when the OIC had some issues of sand for their ongoing road construction.

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