Coast Region Technical Advisory Committee and other stakeholders have commenced
engagement to tackle climate change related issues ahead of this year’s raining
season under a UNEP funded climate change early warning system phase 2.
During a briefing at the regional governor’s office in Brikama yesterday, stakeholders blamed most of the region’s climate change challenges to man-made activities like indiscriminate tree felling and charcoal burning.
Some thirty years ago, Gambia had steady rainfall with good harvests but that is now diminishing due to climate change related issues with early cut of rainfall that affect farming and other agricultural activities.
Annually, West Coast region is always the hardest hit with disaster and climate change related problems in the country due to indiscriminate construction mainly on waterways. Largest percentage of estate development agencies is concentrated in the region with the excessive cutting down of forest parks.
In October last year, the Department of Water Resources introduced the early warning system project funded by UNEP. West coast received funding of D393, 000 from the project that was piloted in Kalagi and Tanji.
Wandifa Daffeh, a senior community development officer said West Coast Region and Kanifing Municipal Council already have strategic work plans that include the implementation of the project. “The project will take a period of three months, starting with data collection by a team of ten people.
Governor Bakary Sanyang said climate change has devastating consequences on the environment and livelihoods, saying he looked forward to a frank discussion and finding out issues that affect the region in terms of the dangers of climate change.
Brikama Area Council chief executive officer Mam Sait Jallow said the strategic work plan is on the revitalization process. “It is important to have climate change issues in our budget and activities. Data collection is the basis of starting the project so you must ensure that the process is done effectively.”
Yankuba Bojang from the Geology Department held that population increase is also causing climate change with waterways obstructed by construction. He said increase in the number of factories, industries and cars are also contributory to climate change.