Chinese owned fishmeal factory, Golden lead has settled out of court in a case where it was facing charges of discharging wastewater into the sea in Gambia.
The company was equally accused of withholding information about their waste management and not keeping track of its activities along Gambia’s coast.
Golden Lead has to pay a bond of 25,000 US dollars, take immediate measures to treat its wastewater and pay for testing of already contaminated water.
“They were supposed to have a waste treatment plant in sea too on the factory itself. So that they treat their wastewater and then they apply for a discharge permit. So that we are able to conduct a water quality analyses test to ensure that we establish that the wastewater that they discharge into the water body is not going to cause any harm.
“But then, unfortunately they did not do or they are yet to install that water treatment plant,” said Lamin Samateh, senior environmental inspector at the National Environmental Agency, NEA.
In May, the waste water from Golden Lead’s factory was believed to be the cause of thousands of dead fish washed up on the beach in Gunjur, a small fishing town in the south-west of the country.
It was later found they had been dumped there by Gambian and Senegalese fishermen unable to sell their catch to the fishmeal makers.
NEA fined some of the fishermen and has reached an agreement with the factory stopping them from making orders where they cannot guarantee purchase to the local fishermen.
The company has also been ordered to remove the waste water pipes going to sea.