the second edition of Niamina Katamina Youth Development Association’s annual
cleansing and fire management exercise at Katamina village, Central river
region, the association’s chairman Lamin Nasso said environmental protection is
everyone’s’ business, saying positive attitudinal change towards it can become
a driving force for any positive socio-economic development.
Mr. Nasso said environmental issues are paramount to any sustainable development agenda.
Addressing hundreds of people from the area who participated in the exercise, Mr. Nasso said as environment is a cross cutting issue, young people must take ownership of their environment and encourage others to join in the protection and preservation schemes.
He emphasized that environmental protection has positive socio-economic and health impacts on the livelihoods of Gambians, saying even malaria prevalence has now drastically dropped in some areas compared to previous years.
The exercise saw participants conduct massive cleansing of the village’s environment and organize belts to protect the settlement from harmful impacts of bushfires and related scenarios.
He thanked the National Environment Agency (NEA) for their untiring support and effective collaboration with the local community in taking a holistic move in the sound management of their surrounding environment. He appealed to other communities to emulate the good example demonstrated by the people of Katamina.
Complementing this laudable initiative of the NEA, Mr. Nasso said there is greater need to render support to these deserving local communities to realise their dreams of cleaning their environment to override current problems they are facing.
Fatou Sonko, leader of the women folk hailed the youth for giving back to the community where they were brought up, by helping and giving a positive face to their childhood environment. She said the exercise led to cleaning the entire village and further created fire belts around the circumference of the village as a device against bushfires.
“We have lots of other activities in our work plan to be conducted in the village”, Mrs. Sonko said but laid specific emphasis on tree planting around the village and along the highway. She called on the youth to be steadfast and always conscious to understand that it is only they as citizens who can trigger development into their village.
Alkalo Landing Jadama and Imam Malamin Dampha both hailed and thanked the young citizens of the village to command the lead in the development of their community. They shared their appreciation with the youth folk and to the elders and women for their continued guidance and unflinching support. “There is no better thing than giving back to the community that brought and groomed you up, not to mention the attainment of your formal education”, the village elders posited showing appreciation.