University of The Gambia Gender and Sectoral Class on Sunday visited Tumani
Tender Eco-Tourism Camp in Kombo East, West Coast Region.
The aim of the field trip was to widen the students’ knowledge on development areas of the country as well as the successes and constraints encountered.
Bairou Sanyang, Financial Controller of Tumani Tenda Eco-Tourism Camp, disclosed that Tumani Tenda was established in the 1970’s comprising 7 extended families and 2 ethnic groups.
He said in 1991, the community decided to develop a garden whereby all the women in the village were engaged.
He added that from 1991 they decided to preserve the forest which was about 89 hectares and from 1994 to 1997 there was a competition throughout the country on the protection of the environment and the forest.
Organised by the National Environment Agency (NEA), they contested and won, adding however that the US7000 prize money won could not be accessed in cash though they had all agreed to invest the money in establishing the camp.
Mr Sanyang noted that the team based their research at an eco-lodge in Lamin village called “Ewulen” owned by Hedger Lennon, who was invited to the village and later agreed to be the technical adviser of the project through the help from the villagers.
For the period of building the camp it was challenging, he said, adding that they needed to bring sand and water to the specific area from the village because the water in the river was salty.
The Camp was officially opened on 24 April 1999 through the Ministry of Tourism, he said, adding that the first visitors were from England University called Success University.
The income generated from the camp, according to Mr Sanyang, was used to help the community by paying the income tax for each compound in the village to the government.
Mr Sheikh Omar Faye, Gender Concepts and Gender Sectoral lecturer at the UTG, who was the coordinator of the field trip, said that taking students on a field trip was very important.
He said one way of learning faster was by participation and by seeing and observing, adding that since it was about gender and sectoral analysis, it was a course that shouldn’t be limited to the classroom environment.
“We have to go out into different sectors and see what the students can learn in terms of best practices and how best they can make suggestions to improve the sector,” he added.
Mr Faye revealed that the reason why he choose Tumani Tenda Eco-Tourism Camp in particular was because it was a success story since it was a community that came from nowhere to somewhere.
According to Mr Faye, the field trip was part of the academic assessment, which is 30 % of the full score and it is allocated to the field trip.
Nyima Sawo, a Development Major student of the UTG, said that the field trip would widen their knowledge in the subject matter.