By Landing Ceesay
President Adama Barrow in his State of the Nation Address today admitted the Gambia’s vulnerability to the “Negative Impact Of Climate Change.”“The international community recognises The Gambia as the only country on track to achieving the Paris Agreement temperature goal of 1.5 degree centigrade by 2050. Notwithstanding this, The Gambia is vulnerable to the negative impact of Climate Change, as shown by the frequency of windstorms and floods. To mitigate this, the Government developed relevant policy documents and implemented adaptation and resilience-building projects, amounting to $36 million in the past five years, Barrow told the National Assembly Members (NAMs) today.
He said regardless of the country’s low contribution to global emissions, it has taken a lead role in climate action through the revised Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement, by which they committed themselves with international support to reducing emissions by 49.7% by 2030.
President Barrow said that closely related to climate change are issues around the misuse of chemicals and hazardous materials; adding that the National Environment Agency has formulated a Bill on pesticide and chemical management for submission to the National Assembly after finalisation.
Barrow further informed the NAMs that for proper management and use of the coastal and marine resources in the country, his Government would enforce the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Bill, after its enactment.
“To conclude, I commend the sector for their efforts to rehabilitate the degraded mangrove and forest cover in the country. We applaud them also for the increase in non-timber products, such as honey, handicrafts, fruits, and nuts,” The Gambian leader said.
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The President made the remarks in his State of the Nation Address 2022 today at the National Assembly in Banjul.
Section 77 (1) of the 1997 Constitution requires the President to attend a sitting of the National Assembly and address a session on the condition of the State, the policies of the Government, and the administration of the State, at least once in a year.
Today’s event marked the 6th State of Nation Address (SoNA) by President Adama Barrow, since his ascension to power in 2017, after defeating then President Yahya A.J.J Jammeh in the 1st December 2016 presidential election.
Meanwhile, on climate change related disaster in The Gambia; the NDMA 5th Situational Report revealed that 13,053 women and children have been affected by the recent floods that hit the country.
It specified that 9,965 children between 0 to 59 months have been affected, while 3,088 pregnant and breastfeeding women have also been affected by the floods.
The report added that the floods have partially damaged 4, 259 households, and completely damaged 3, 617 households, mainly in the Greater Banjul Area.