staff of Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) in collaboration with the Ministry of
Forestry and its line department over the weekend embarked on a massive tree
planting exercise at the Monkey Park Forest in Bijilo.
The team planted over five hundred seedlings and towards the end of the exercise, there was a heavy down pour which was a positive sign in ensuring the sustainability of the seedlings.
Speaking at the exercise, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Lamin Jawara, described the move as a positive public-private partnership.
He said government alone could not do it all, hence government always look for private sector to complement some of their effort and Standard Chartered Bank was one such partner.
He said the bank was always willing as part of their social corporate responsibility to join hands with the Ministry of Environment in their annual reforestation program.
Mr Jawara applauded SCB for their participation in the exercise and called on other banks to emulate SCB.
PS Jawara described the park as one of their most important parks among the sixty-six forest parks in the country.
For his part, Cherno Gaye, senior forestry officer called on people to reciprocate what SCB was doing as they are getting out of the comfort of their offices to support the department of forestry.
He said SCB is the only financial institution that was into environmental conservation, and he called on the community to make SCB their preferred banking choice.
Speaking on behalf of SCB, Ousman Njie, head of Consumer Banking recalled that SCB started the collaboration with the department of forestry since 2004 and over time the bank has planted over twenty thousand trees.
He said the total cost that SCB provided to the department of forestry and seedlings amounted to fifty thousand dalasis.
Mr Njie dilated on the importance attached to the park considering the fauna and flora as well as its significance.
He assured that SCB would continue to collaborate with the department of forestry in the restoration of the forest cover.
In his welcoming remarks, the director Department of Forestry, Mahammed Jaiteh, highlighted the relationship between SCB and forestry department, saying that this was not the first time that SCB had supported the department of forestry in the restoration of lost forest.
He was happy that SCB was not only providing the resources or materials for the department of forestry but also participating physically in the activities.