By: Binta Jaiteh
ActionAid The Gambia in partnership with the National Alliance for Agro-ecology The Gambia, Wetlands International, and Sustainable Management of Biodiversity in Senegal has over the weekend launched mangrove management projects in the country.
The project aimed to strengthen the capacities of local associations’ management and service delivery capabilities as well as Sustainable Forest Management through enhanced livelihood and biodiversity conservation in the Protected Areas, in Kanuma, North Bank Region.
The project will also support the development of a management plan for the Niumi National Park and it will help address the management gaps in the protected area by priorities conservation efforts and facilitating advocacy to improve management.
Musa Sowe, Project Coordinator for the National Alliance for Agro-ecology – The Gambia said the project will create livelihood opportunities to strengthen the resilience of people living in the project target areas, adding that it will include training in management, leadership, governance, financial management and recordkeeping of members of both forest parks within the project target areas.
She added that the project will build people’s capacities to be able to keep a proper inflow of cash that is generated from the sales of non-timber forest products, noting other activities of the project will include proposal development to enable the management committees to be able to generate additional income to run their daily activities.
Representing the Executive Director of ActionAid, Mr. Saidina Alieu Jarjou, and Fundraising Manager ActionAid emphasized that climate change is real and it’s affecting the environment. He added that the country’s agricultural sector and food production is declining due to climate change, and that has threatened the country’s food security.
He also explained the issue of sustainability, noting sustainability is a major challenge with most projects in the Gambia. “The impacts of most projects could not be seen because immediately some projects end, communities do not put in more effort to sustain those projects.
Therefore, he said, everything goes down the drain while urging the community of Niumi and Jokadou to sustain the project for their own good.”
Meanwhile, other speakers who spoke extensively on the importance of the project include Sarjo Manneh, Park Manager, Nuimi National Park, Councilor Michel Mendy, Kanuma Ward, Alpha Mariam Khan, while Chief of Jokadu thanked the facilitators of the projects as well as the Government of The Gambia for ushering and making such projects available.