#Editorial

It’s time to reclaim our wetlands from salt water intrusion!

Dec 15, 2020, 11:17 AM

Saltwater intrusion is one of the most important water quality problems in coastal aquifers, especially in areas with increased water demands.

In a nutshell, saltwater intrusion is the flow of seawater flowing inland in freshwater aquifers.

It is a fact that most of the coastal communities and parts of North Bank and Central River Regions relied heavily on groundwater as their main source of fresh water for domestic, industrial and agricultural purposes. Therefore, saving out wetlands from saltwater intrusion is move in the right direction.

Statistics shows that as the world's population continues to grow at an alarming rate, fresh water supplies are constantly being depleted, bringing with it issues such as saltwater intrusion and increasing the importance of groundwater monitoring, management, and conservation.

Meanwhile, President Barrow has announced his government’s plans to launch two projects with a combined $85 million projects designed to reclaim rice fields overtaken by salts in CRR.

However, the move, he said, is part of his government’s commitment to boost agricultural production and productivity in the country.

These projects could not have come at a better time than now, when most of our wetlands have been overrun by salt water intrusion. It is a race against time to reclaim some of our wetlands from salt water intrusion.

We also call on government to put in place concrete measures to address the issue, as it increasingly affecting local farming communities.

Once these wetlands and rice fields become affected by salt water intrusion, it becomes absolutely difficult to support the crop production and other domestic uses.

We must reiterate here that agriculture is a key contributor to the country’s GDP and currently employ a significant number of Gambians. Therefore, investing in agriculture development is not only a wise decision, but a move to ensure the country’s food self-sufficiency drive. There is need to priorities agriculture for the future, as Gambia used to be a bastion when it comes to rice production. And the country can still go back to its glorious days in agric production.

Let’s collectively fight against saltwater intrusion to boost agricultural production. We therefore commend the president for his foresight in conceiving such a brilliant move, to save out wetlands from salt water intrusion. We therefore look forward to the actual implementation of these projects.

"Dance with the waves, move with the sea, let the rhythm of the water set your soul free."

Dante Alighieri

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