POWPA-GPAL coordinator laments impact of climate change

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Kawsu Jammeh, the coordinator of POWPA-GPAL Gambia protected area network and community livelihood project manager at the department of Parks and Wildlife, has said that climate change induced problems are affecting important bird destinations and impacting food security in the Central River Region.

He said almost all rice fields were inundated between 2012 and 2015.

Mr Jammeh, who was speaking in an interview at his office at Parks and Wildlife, explained that during the permanent waterlogged period, reed beds colonised rice growing paddies, allowing no agriculture.

He said this year, permanent inundation of the fields may resume, adding that the area used to be the most biodiversity-rich region in Gambia.

He continued that with Prantincoles appearing in large numbers coupled with the presence of crowned cranes and many important birds, are evidence of the area’s significance.

According to Mr Jammeh, in coastal zones, there was unprecedented erosion affecting Niumi National Park, Hallahein River Mouth, and Tanjeh Bird Reserve including Bijol Islands.

“Erosion is also affecting all islands within River Gambia basin,” he stated, saying more than 10,000 houses are sitting on the freshwater upwelling in Greater Banjul, where urbanisation and lack of implementing adaptive town planning techniques are becoming an urgent concern.

He added: “If waste management for a population of two million people is so difficult, what will happen if the population reaches four million?”

“Climate change is accelerating land degradation, and influencing biodiversity loss,” he lamented.

“Our sustenance and habitation of this land ultimately depend on how we conserve to maintain it. The population needs committed citizens who are willing to unite and make the country a better place.”

“I love Gambia and love the planet. I am only concerned with what can make Gambia a better place to live. We only need to unite and work towards meeting our common goal,” he said.

Author: Yai Dibba
Source: Picture: POWPA-GPAL Gambia coordinator Kawsu Jammeh