It could be recalled that ActionAid International the Gambia, Catholic Relief Services, and United Purpose secured funding from the European Union to implement a 24-month project titled ‘Empowering Civil Society Organisations to Mobilize Citizen Actions towards a Green Economy and Environmental Sustainability in Central River Region (North, and South) and North Bank Region (NBR) of the Gambia.
As part of its implementation, the consortium embarks on a caravan as a follow-up to some of the issues raised during the first regional advocacy caravan conducted in May 2022, in which discussions were centered on deforestation, migration, bushfires, charcoal burning, and other climate-related hazards. As well as promoting Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA), using indigenous knowledge and best farming practices for food security.
Omar Touray, who now took over the chieftaincy from his father Alhaji Kebba Touray due to old age, promised to follow in his father’s footsteps to work with ActionAid and its partners to empower the women of Niamina East. He added that when you empower a woman, you have empowered a man.
“My father was the first Chief to include women in his District Tribunal. Therefore, I will strengthen what he has started. ActionAid’s work on women empowerment in Niamina has been exemplary. I, therefore, thank ActionAid for their good work in the district, and we will continue to work together to put an end to the rampant cutting down of trees, widespread bushfires, and charcoal burning”. Said Chief Touray.
Kumba Suso, a prominent member of the Kumbaney Women’s Vegetable Garden speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries said, “we used to collect logs from the bush to fence the garden to keep away stray animals. Access to water was a big problem, I used to get a ladder myself and climb down the well to dig it so that we could get water to water our vegetables. But today, we thank God, ActionAid provided us with a borehole, solar power, a toilet, a waiting shed, and a multipurpose centre with refrigerators to sell ice blocks, we charge our mobile phones here and we also operate a video club too which is generating income”.
The President of the garden Hawa Jawo said that the women of Sinchu Gundo never had a garden in the village until ActionAid came to their aid. “The women of Sinchu Gundo will forever be grateful to ActionAid and the European Union for their support. As you can see, we are working tirelessly because we know how important this garden is to us and our families” she said.
In Sami Kuta, Joma Touray, one of the beneficiaries of the Green Economy Project thanked ActionAid, the European Union, and the implementing partners of the project for providing solar energy to their community. She highlighted that the provision of solar has helped to improve their children’s performance in school because they can read their lessons at night.
Saidina Alieu Jarjou, ActionAid’s Fundraising Manager said, ActionAid has been supporting women for a very long time and wants to see women intensify their vegetable production so that there is all-year-round production for food security in The Gambia. While his office will explore all the opportunities to mobilize resources to implement projects that will improve the lives and livelihood of women in rural Gambia.