Jul 30, 2014, 11:22 AM
During the meeting held in Kerewan in the North Bank Region (NBR), the project officials renewed their commitment to improve food security, environment management, literacy, water and sanitation.
The convergence was a follow up meeting to the one held in Touba Kuta in Senegal, a few months ago.It was at the Touba Kuta meeting that the project steering committees were formed to take charge of the implementation of the NGO’s projects in The Gambia and Senegal.
Speaking at the Kerewan meeting, Governor Lamin Queen Jammeh of the NBR commended the Belgium government for their support to SOLIDAGRO in improving the lives of rural communities on food security, environmental protection and women’s empowerment.
He said the Gambian authorities “highly recognised” the efforts of SOLIDAGRO, particularly in building the capacity of rural communities on food security.
Governor Jammeh called on the Belgium government to support the extension of SOLIDAGRO to further improve food security and environmental management.
He hailed the Agency for the Development of Women and Children (ADWAC) and the Njawara Agricultural Training Centre (NATC) for the numerous interventions in improving the lives of the rural population in NBR.
Wim Vereecken, SOLIDAGRO programme officer for Western Africa, applauded the Gambian authorities for supporting the implementation of the SOLIDAGRO’s intervention in NBR.
He said the NGO’s support for women’s access and control over productive land would enhance food security and livelihood development for 56 villages in The Gambia and Senegal.
Mr Vereecken informed the gathering about the “untimely demise” of the director of ALCADEV, NGO EMERITO SAMARCA, a Philippino, who was also in the struggle for women to have land for production.
The late director was said to be a land activist campaigning against the destruction of the environment and advocating for women’s access and control over land.
The meeting later observed a minute’s silent in honour of the deceased.
Fatou Senghore, president of the steering committee based in Dasilami Sosseh in Senegal, lauded SOLIDAGRO for supporting women to have access to and control of productive land resources.
She pointed out that the establishment of the steering committee has empowered women to advocate for land, so as to boost food production and contribute to poverty reduction.
Dodou Jallow, project coordinator of SOLIDAGRO for Gambia and Senegal, assured all of the project’s unreserved commitment to food security and sound environmental management.
Mam Samba Joof, executive director of ADWAC, said all stakeholders have a role to play in strengthening food production and sustainable development.
Alasan Keita, director of planning, applauded the land advocacy campaign of NATC and ADWAC in promoting women access and control over land.
Musa Manneh, secretary general of the steering committee of Sukuta village in northern Senegal, applauded the project for promoting literacy, saying education contributes to poverty reduction and boosts economic growth.
He said there is a need to increase public awareness using the mass media to create a platform for women to talk to the public about their land rights campaign.
In view of this, Mr Manneh said, the project would value networking with media houses, both in The Gambia and Senegal.