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Columnist Latir Carr adds voice in condemning new beach fees
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Columnist Latir Carr adds voice in condemning new beach fees

The Gambia Tourism Board’s decision to introduce picnic charges last week is greeted with widespread condemnation as beach users called on the tourism regulatory authority to rescind its decision with immediate effect.

Adding his voice to the debate is the outspoken social commentator, Latirr Carr, who used his weekend column in The Standard Newspaper to express his outrage.

The Kairaba Avenue boy could not hold his outrage over the newly introduced beach fees. He wrote: “It’s a new law for people that can hardly even afford the D500 for the picnic they'll be organising, let along come up with another D1200 for a deposit.”

Latirr was referring to the GTB’s press release, which requires picnickers to apply for a permit that will cost D1200. The D1000 is refundable if the used area is properly cleaned and the remaining D200 is non-refundable and it will go to pay for the services of lifeguards on the beach.

The press release further reveals that the board came up with the decision because of the increase in sea drowning and beach littering.

Latirr, who is famous for ‘saying the unsayable’, was not convinced with the reasons given by GTB. He argued: “What happens if the lifeguard fails to save my child after I've paid my D1200? How do you determine whether I had littered the space I used for my picnic?

“We all know that it is a fact that most of the children or young people that have drowned at sea (apart from the backway set) have actually been non-picnickers! Most of the stories I have heard have been young people that have gone to the beach for a swim and those people are not covered by your new regulations…except if they also have to pay the required D1200 specified on the Press Release.”

Speaking about beach littering, Latirr said: “Our beaches do not have garbage cans or bags. I doubt we are expected to take our garbage all the way home, when we know for a fact that our area councils are never going to visit our homes to pick them up.”

He continued: “Where do we put our garbage after we clean? Again, a proper waste management system must be put in place first before we even begin to address the problem of cleanliness on the beach. One step at a time people.”

Reports reaching What’s On-Gambia have disclosed that GTB has already started turning away picnickers for not having permits. 



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