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Julakay Ltd. sand mining in Faraba Banta, The Gambia

Julakay started mining for sand on Faraba Banta's rice fields, without prior informing and consent of the villagers, threatening their food supply. Police repression killed two people, bringing the case under national scrutiny.


The Julakay National Holding Co. Limited (hereafter Julakay Group) is operating in Faraba Banta village surroundings without never having received the village’s consent. Jukalay’s sand mining puts under jeopardy the villagers’ rice fields as its activities might trigger the salinization of the soils, rendering them unproductive. Women are particularly concerned as they the ones whose tradition has put them in charge of rice cultivation, guaranteeing food sovereignty. Several women of the village have fields on the sand quarries [1]. By January 18th, 2018, Faraba’s Village Development Committee (VDC) made a request to the ministry of Local Government and Lands to revoke Julakay’s mining license. The VDC claims that Julakay’s operations harm the community and its lands. They complain the company has destroyed a football field and other compounds. The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Lands, Buba Sanyang said to have set up a technical team to visit Julakay’s mining site and verify VDC’s claims. Yet by May 23rd, the Inspector General of Police informed the ministry of Lands and other stakeholders that Julakay’s mining license is in due order and the company was granted the permit to continue their operations. The villagers were very unsatisfied with that decision [2]. Villagers from Faraba Banta protested on May 26th, 2018. The youth of the village is particularly concerned and mobilized [3]. They contest the mining activities as the village was never notified about Julakay’s license to mining. Some villagers and VDC members decided to take the matter to the court for an injunction to stop the sand mining until the concerns of the population are addressed. However, the chief of police office of the Inspector General of Police informed the population that Julakay Group enjoys a legal license to mine [4].During the clashes on May 26th, the Gambia Police Intervention Unit (PIU), a paramilitary force, intervened and since then paramilitaries remain in the village surroundings and protect the mining site. Gambia’s Inspector General of police, Landing Kinteh argues Julakay pays a quarterly compensation of 100.000 GambianDelasi (1789,85 euros) to Faraba community. Yet the chairman of Faraba’s VDC rejected Mr. Kinteh’s claims. On the contrary he argues his community has never received a dime from the company. The people accuse the Inspector General of Police of siding with the mining company [5].On June 18th, during new demonstrations, members of the PIU killed three villagers [6]. After this lethal repression, five officers of the PIU were suspended and the President of Gambia set up a Commission in Faraba Banta to hear witnesses [7]. During several meetings of this commission, the people heard were many: villagers, among which women as well, the elders, but also Mr. Kinteh (former Inspector General of police), the VDC chairman. Women of Faraba Banta travelled to the capital, Banjul, to meet with members of the National Assembly and confronted them with the issues of their village [8]. By early August 2018 during one of the meetings of that commission it was said that the mining company gave Faraba’s VDC D10, 000 Gambian Delasi (178.85 euros) and another 5.000 Gambian Delasi (89.43 euros) were distributed among the village elders for their private use [9].During one of the meetings of this commission, on July 25th, the elders formulated their demands to Julakay, asking for “repairing of the village road and bridge, building a local market for the village women, as to helping in the rehabilitation of the village health centre, provision of job employment for the youths” [10].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Julakay Ltd. sand mining in Faraba Banta, The Gambia
Country:Gambia, The
Location of conflict:Faraba Banta village
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific commodities:Sand, gravel
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Apparently, Julakay National Holding Co. Limited secured a sand mining license in 2007 with the Department of Geology, yet without having defined the area where to mine. In July 2018, the Faraba Banta Commission required to the Managing Director of the Department of Geology, M. Cham, to provide that original documentation. Yet the Director said to the commission he was unable to provide that documentation. Instead he affirmed that “Julakay was issued license on July 10th 2017; that the issuance of license is accompanied by the management of plans which includes access road to the mining site, preparation of the site and office for staff of the mining Company” [1]. The area of Jukalay’s mining license expanded from an original 3,4 hectares to 8,4 hectares [2]. There was no information online found to determine where the capital of this company comes from, whether it is Gambian or not. After the severe repression of the demonstration on June 18th 2018, the Gambian National Assembly discussed the land issues occurring in the country. It has been mentioned that the Department of Geology is legally not supposed to grant licenses for mining [3].

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Project area:8,4
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/01/2018
Company names or state enterprises:Julakay National Holding Co. Limited from Gambia, The
Relevant government actors:Gambia’s Police Intervention Unit (PIU), a police paramilitary force, Ministry of Local Government and Lands, National Environmental Agency
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Faraba’s Village Development Committee (VDC)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Soil erosion, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Other socio-economic impacts, Increase in violence and crime, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Displacement, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Specific impacts on women, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Land dispossession
Other socio-economic impactsSalt contamination of rice fields is a special concern for the women who lead the cultivation of that crop
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Strengthening of participation
Proposal and development of alternatives:Cease the activity on the villagers' rice fields.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The inquiry commission heard the people's testimonies and complains but nothing has been undertaken to stop the mining operations, rather the company might provide monetary and infrastructures compensation, as touched upon during the Faraba Banta commission's meetings.
Sources & Materials

Villagers of Faraba Banta Protest Against Sand Mining, May 28, 2018
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Gambia: Clashes Over Sand Mining Kill Two, 19 June, 2018
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(6) Gambia: Fully Investigate Anti-Mining Protesters’ Deaths, 20 June, 2018
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(3) 6 youth released in Faraba sand mine dispute
[click to view]

Gambia: Tension as Faraba protest against mining at village quarry, May 28, 2018
[click to view]

(5) Gambia: Faraba banta protesters arrested, May 29, 2918
[click to view]

Gambia: At the Faraba Banta Commission - Ansumana Marena (Julakay), Others Testify, July 16, 2018
[click to view]

Gambia: NAMS React to Faraba Banta Incident, Land Problems, June 20th, 2018
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Tuerie en Gambie…5 policiers arrêtés ! 20 Juin 2018
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(7) At the Faraba Banta commission: Ansumana Marena (Julakay) Re-Appears, July 17, 2018
[click to view]

(4) Gambia: Tension as Faraba protest against mining at village quarry, May 28, 2018
[click to view]

(9) Faraba Commission: Villagers not aware of MoU Julakay signed, August 6, 2018
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(1) Commission Of Inquiry On Faraba Visits Village, Inspects Vandalized Properties, July 30, 2018
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(10) AT THE FARABA BANTA COMMISSION: Chairperson, Council Of Elders, Others Testify, July 25, 2018
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(8) Faraba Banta Commission: More Villagers Give Evidence, July 31st, 2018
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Village Elders Associate Themselves With Protesters Against Sand Mining, May 31, 2018
[click to view]

At the Farab Barna commission: VDC Chairperson Appears, July 13, 2018
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Faraba Commission: Former IGP Kinteh Testifies, July 30, 2018
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Justice minister tables D150, 000 remuneration for 5 Faraba commissioners, September 21st, 2018
[click to view]

Gambia: Breaking News: Faraba Environmentalists Arrested; As Gambia’s Police Chief Denies Siding With Julakay Engineering And Construction Company! May 28, 2018
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Gambia - Women Of Faraba Banta Say No To Sand Mining (Part 2)
[click to view]

Gambia: Julakay's Mining Site - Faraba Banta
[click to view]

(2) ‘VDC requested Julakay licence to be revoked’, August 8th, 2018
[click to view]

Gambia - Women Of Faraba Banta Say No To Sand Mining
[click to view]

Two environmental activists killed in protests in The Gambia, Africa news
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice Team (updated by Camila Rolando)
Last update30/11/2018
Conflict ID:3880
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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