Nov 20, 2008, 4:26 AM
(Thursday 12th March 2020 Issue)
part of its efforts to educate local communities on the effects of climate
change, Beakanyang, a local NGO is embarking on a 6-day sensitization tour of
communities in Wuli.
Speaking at the start of the caravan in Nyakoi Taibatou, Nfamara Jawneh, the Executive Director of Beakanyang said that climate change is real and communities including in those Wuli are also affected.
According to him, rainfall patterns have changed over the years with limited and unpredictable rains resulting in poor harvest by farmers.
According to him, communities in Wuli have been experiencing the effects of climate change such as flooding, extreme weather and erosion. “If you could recall at the beginning of the raining season last year, several houses and animals were washed away by windstorm in many communities here in Nyakoi and in some communities we are visiting have in fact lost their loved ones during those disasters. For us all these are effects of climate change,” he declared.
He called on communities to desist from the indiscriminate felling of trees and to stop setting the bush on fire.
Jawneh called for concerted efforts in preserving the environment while encouraging locals to plant more trees.
Fanding Barrow, a board member of Beakanyang thanked the Global Environment Facility Small Grant Programme for supporting the climate change sensitization tour.
According to him, the tour which includes traditional communicators locally known as Kanyellengs, climate experts, staff and board members will cover ten communities in Wuli east and west respectively.
For his part, Mr. Omar Malmo Sambou a lecturer from the University of the Gambia and a climate change expert told the communities that climate change is really happening and people need to take serious action to mitigate its impact.
According to him, due to climate change, reports have shown that we will be experiencing increase in temperatures while food production will also significantly reduce.
He told the people of Wuli to jealously guard their remaining forest cover while encouraging them to build a culture of tree planting.
Mr. Sambo blamed the government for failing to effectively implement the environmental legislations and conventions and treaties the country has signed.
Meanwhile, from community to community, the Department of Forestry is alleged to be the biggest threat to our forest cover. Many communities blame foresters for giving permits for tree felling or compromising the law and their responsibilities for personal gains.
Mbembanding Jabby, Alkalo of Taibatou thanked Beakanyang for the tour noting that the impact of climate change can be reduced but required concerted efforts by all and sundry.
He expressed their readiness to work with Beakanyang in developing their community forest while calling for support to establish an ecotourism centre in the village.
Fatou Ceesay, lady president of Bajonkoto and Jambo Camara of Sutukonding applauded Beakanyang for alleviating the suffering of the people in the area.