Jul 21, 2011, 12:44 PM
The community of Foni Katacorr village in the West Coast Region over the weekend responded massively to the ongoing nation-wide tree planting exercise.
A mangrove planting exercise that attracted over 200 people, both male and female young and old, in the village lasted for two hours at the river’s side in Kartacorr.
The mangrove tree planting exercise was organized by the Department of Forestry under the West Africa Mangrove Initiative (WAMI) Project, funded by the Government of The Gambia.
The exercise was aimed at restoring mangroves in Foni,at a time when other countries in the sub-region are currently engaging in mangrove tree-planting in the best interest of the forest cover.
The alkalo of Kartacorr and forestry officials took the lead in the planting exercise, which was a clear indication of their cooperation with and understanding of the department of Forestry’s plans on restoration of the national forest cover.
Speaking at the exercise, the focal person at the department of Forestry, Momodou Lamin Njai, said WAMI has been involving in this initiative (mangrove tree planting) for the past three years.
Mr Njai further stated that this Kartcorr community is a riverine community with interest in protecting and conserving their remaining river-side forest, which is the mangrove plantation.
Mr Njai added that a lot of sensitization was conducted in connection with the proper management and preserving of the forest. He said the communities were given a basic knowledge of this training exercise, which was conducted at their village level.
He further expressed delight with the participation of the community in the exercise, adding that their large turnout was a clear manifestation of their cooperation, and of unity among the villagers.
He added that the department of Forestry through the government will continue to support the communities in the restoration of the mangrove forest.
Mr Njai added that the turnout of the communities was good, with over 15,000 mangrove seedlings planted within a short time.
Njai promised the community that the department will provide more trees for the community, since they are very cooperative.
Sajo Fatajo, deputizing for the director of Forestry expressed similar sentiments to the communities of Foni Kartacorr, such as their high sense of participation in this exercise.
He urged them to double their efforts in the restoration of mangrove plants in the country, as its benefits cannot be overemphasized.
He also challenged the community to take ownership of their environment, since the forestry Department alone cannot do it all.