Golden Lead fish meal processing company in Gunjur comes out in public through this press release amidst unprecedented criticisms on the social media on deteriorating environmental management pointed to the company and the corresponding visits and inspections from different government institutions.
With this press release, we also represent the fish meal industry which is in its infancy stage in the Gambia.
We deem it necessary to clarify the issues and assure the public of our strong commitment to the development of The Gambia and protection of its natural resources on which our sustainability depends as a business.
The social media created doubts on the legitimacy of our business. We assure you that Golden Lead is a Gambian company as we are established only in the Gambia. We came into being through a legitimate process that begun from the investment promotion efforts of the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA), it is through this process that we have legitimately acquired licenses to operate from the Ministry of Fisheries, National Environment Agency, Food Safety and Quality Authority and the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration, Industry, and Employment. The process we went through in this country ultimately enabled us to acquire the Export Processing Zone License to operate and export.
We are accused of disposing toxic waste water from our factory into the ocean that kills fishes that litters the seashore of Gunjur. We assure you that we respect the ocean that gives us the fish and we are not disposing toxic waste water into the ocean. Golden Lead does not use any chemical in any form in our process. In addition, the waste water of our factory which is purely water from fish is directed to suck ways and is collected everyday by sewerage trucks. We want to state that we are not responsible of the oversupply of fish resulting into fish dumping in both on land and sea.
We are accused of dumping rotten fish on the sea shores of Gunjur. We assure you that we do not buy only to throw away at the end of the day when it rots. We are equipped with ultra-modern fish processing technology and we buy only what we can process for the day which is clearly communicated to the suppliers we work with. Moreover, we are a processing factory depending on artisanal fishing industry for supply of fish as such we are not involved in the extraction/exploitation of water resources.
We are a serious investment in the country with a total investment of 3 million dollars powering 2 million dalasi daily economic activity at the Gunjur fish landing site. We are also responsible investors that care about the environment of the Gambia as we all live here.
The current situation of our factory and the Gunjur fish landing site is a painful reminder of the fact that there is lack of social dialogue in many of the stakeholders of the Gunjur fish landing site. Furthermore the situation is triggered by external factors beyond the control of Golden Lead factory.
We call for the organization of the fisheries sector in the Gambia so that issues and challenges in the sector are addressed in a professional manner.
We also want to assure you that we strongly value complying with the regulations of the environment and fisheries sectors and are very willing to be part of efforts to correct this unfortunate situation along our coastlines.
We hope important lessons are learnt through this incident not only to prevent this occurrences but also to maximize the opportunities created by our factory and by this industry for the benefit of The Gambia.