Talib Ahmed Bensouda, the mayor of Kanifing Municipality over the weekend inaugurated 100 million Euros, an equivalent of D5,700,000 project designed to plant trees with the municipality.
This tree planting project aims to plant about 190,000 trees within the Kanifing Municipality. It is a flagship project of D180 million Kanifing Environmental Transformation Programme (KETP).
The project is funded by the European Union and co-financed by KMC and partners such as Peterborough City Council in the UK.
KETP is one of KMC’s numerous initiatives aimed at tackling environmental, social and economic challenges in the municipality.
In his launching statement at the Fajara Barracks where numerous trees were planted, Mayor Bensouda said under his leadership, KMC intends to plant over 190,000 trees within the municipality by using its ward system.
He added: “We intend to plant 10,000 trees in each ward with the aim to make the municipality green.”
Bensouda said “this project will contribute immensely to both national climate change mitigation efforts as well as adaptation needs.”
“It would also contribute to the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of The Gambia by lessening emission to the atmosphere.”
“By planting 190,000 trees, there will be significant carbon capture, reducing pollution and creating a more livable environment,” he said.
Highlighting on the significance of the trees, Bensouda said the trees that the council wants to plant would provide shade, fruits, fresher air and increased climate resiliency and biodiversity within the municipality.
Climate Change has now become a global menace, affecting lives and livelihoods of people.
However, Mayor Bensouda said: “We intend to impact the lives of our youth, women, children and the elderly by enhancing the quality of the environment through making the municipality green and clean.”
Alieu Nyang, KETP project director, described the project as a milestone. He believed that the trees would be protected and therefore contribute immensely to the development of the Kanifing Municipality and the society as a whole.
“We applaud you (Fajara Barrack) for the support you rendered to us,” he said, while commending all and sundry for contributing immensely on the implementation of the project.
Representing the CDS, Lt. Colonel Kuluteh Manneh, said it is the responsibility of the public to protect trees in the environment as well as replace dead plants with young ones.
“The people who were here (Fajara Barrack) were responsible because some of the trees in the camp are currently older than us. This shows that the soldiers who were here were responsible citizens,” he said.
In this regard, he said there is a greater need for growing more plants in the environment.
Binta Jallow, deputy mayor cum ward councilor for Bakau, said trees play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of climate change. She urged all and sundry to protect the trees to enhance human development.
DM Jallow enjoined the public to support the Mayor of KM in his environmental initiatives to turn the municipality green and clean. This, she said, would enhance development and human health within the city.
Representing Camp Commander, Major Armando Jatta, described the project as significant, especially to the Fajara Barracks. He said trees provide oxygen, serve as food and wind breakers among other benefits.
He commended KMC for choosing Fajara Barracks on this development, while assuring the camp’s protection and care for trees planted within the military barracks.
He expressed gratitude to President Barrow for creating conducive environments to the public, while applauding KMC for the initiative.