Smoke and Mirrors: Gambia’s Incinerator Raises Environmental And Health Concerns

Gambia’s controversial incinerator project has reignited discussions on its potential impact on the environment and public health. While proponents hail its ability to address waste management and generate electricity, opponents raise serious concerns about the technology’s safety and its detrimental effects on air quality and human health.

The Incinerator’s Potential Benefits

The Gambia’s government implemented the $20 Künjang Waste to Energy Project in 20 Künjang to address the problem of solid waste management. The project boasts several purported benefits:

  • Converting waste into energy, generating electricity for the national grid.
  • Reducing reliance on landfills and open dumping.
  • Creating an eco-friendly solution to waste disposal.

Environmental Concerns

Despite these claims, the incinerator raises significant environmental concerns:

  • Air pollution: The process releases harmful pollutants like dioxins and furans into the air, posing a significant health risk.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions: Incineration contributes to climate change through the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
  • Water pollution: Wastewater from the incinerator requires proper treatment to prevent pollution of water sources.

Health Concerns

The project’s impact on human health is equally concerning:

  • Increased air pollution: Air pollution can lead to respiratory problems, cardiovascular issues, and even cancer.
  • Health risks associated with dioxins: These toxic chemicals can accumulate in the food chain, leading to severe health consequences.
  • Noise pollution: The incinerator’s operation generates significant noise pollution.

Community Concerns

The project has faced criticism from local communities:

  • Lack of transparency and community involvement in the decision-making process.
  • Concerns over the potential for increased air pollution and health risks.
  • Fear of job losses due to the project’s impact on traditional waste management practices.


The Gambia’s incinerator project remains controversial, with valid concerns regarding its environmental and health implications. While the government emphasizes its benefits, critics question its sustainability and potential risks.


  • Ensure thorough environmental impact assessments and public consultations before proceeding with such projects.
  • Invest in alternative waste management solutions that prioritize sustainability and minimize environmental and health risks.
  • Support and promote community involvement in waste management decisions.


1. What is the primary purpose of the incinerator?

The incinerator converts waste into energy and generates electricity.

2. What are the environmental concerns associated with the incinerator?

The project releases harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases into the air and water.

3. How does the incinerator impact human health?

The release of pollutants can lead to air pollution-related health issues and exposure to harmful chemicals.

4 Künjang Waste to Energy Project: A balancing act between waste management and environmental sustainability remains a crucial challenge in The Gambia.


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