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COP26 regional ambassador for West Africa observes increasing desertification in Gambia

Jun 28, 2021, 11:59 AM | Article By: Sulayman Waan

Janet Rogan, COP26’s regional ambassador for West Africa has observed the increasing of desertification and soil erosion in The Gambia, anticipating future environmental dilemma.

Speaking to journalists at Calypso Bar and Restaurant at Cape Point, Bakau, following her meeting with various stakeholders ahead of the November COP26 international conference in UK, she said: “We have seen the increasing of desertification in the country. The desert and sand are increasing in places where it was not before. This means we also have soil erosion, and our crops do not growth well.” 

She said this nightmare could cause conflict between farmers and livestock owners simply because they are competing lands for the growing of crops and grazing of livestock.

The international climate expert said desertification causes the rise in temperature as well affect proper cultivation of crops in an area. This, she added causes food insecurity in a country where desert affects cultivation of crops.

The climate specialist said to address desertification in a particular area, there is a need for authorities to find out its causes and put mechanisms in place to prevent its further spread.

She urged all and sundry to change their behaviours on the environmental to ensure the public is able to cope with the new circumstances of climate.

“Desertification is the consequences of rise in temperature. It also causes food insecurity,” she said.

However, she noted that there are many solutions to desertification, saying authorities have to analyse its causes and work towards stopping those causes to prevent further spread wasteland. 

When asked about the measures to address desert, she said: “If illegal logging causes a desert in a particular area; therefore, the solution of that desert would be stopping illegal logging and if other coastal activities causes desert then those activities should be stopped.”

Janet Rogan urged all and sundry to working unanimously in combating climate change so as to mitigate global warming on earth. “Every country has a role to play in mitigating the global warming,” she said.

Moving forward, she said, she has further observed that many Gambian towns are below the level of the sea making them very vulnerable to any sea rise. These settlements, she said “would be flooded easily”.

She said the country also has salt waters entering the rivers particularly in rice production sites, adding rice cultivation is not suitable in salty water.

This, she said is causing problems in the country.

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