The beneficiary communities are Bassick, Tambakoto, Kubandar and Maka Farafenni. The event also witnessed the planting of 13, 000 Mahogany, Lime, Moringa, Oranges, Cashew, Gmalina and Mango trees in the said communities.
The exercise was being conducted in partnership with the Ministries of Agriculture, Environment Climate Change and National Resources, Department of Forestry, Integrated Pest Management Directorate and Community Development. Under the project dubbed ‘Peace Building Fund Project’, it is aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence among communities as well as in addressing the negating impacts of climate change such as land disputes.
Abdoulie Fye, director of Programme and Operations at The Gambia Red Cross Society, explained that they’ve conducted a national consultation and the targeted beneficiaries identified the type of trees they wanted, further expressing that his office’s advocacy is to plant more trees in communities.
He also reminded that tree planting is one thing, but ensuring it growth is another thing.
He therefore urged beneficiary communities to ensure the trees have the necessary fertilizer and protection they need to grow.
Bakary B. Jarju, assistant regional forestry officer at West Coast Region, underscored the importance of trees to life, noting that trees play a very important role in the development of any community.
Jarju indicated that trees provide food for communities, influence the rainfall pattern as well as serve as wind breakers.
The impact of the recent windstorm in North Bank Region, he observed, was more severe because the region has less trees compared to other regions.
Dr. Ismaila Mbenga, director of Integrated Pest Management Directorate, said anyone who gives trees has given life, as trees are good for the protection of the environment.
“It provides us with food, can be used for drugs production and other uses.”
He called on beneficiary communities to take ownership of the project in ensuring that the trees are protected.
Njogou Jeng, senior programme Associate Disaster Risk Management at WFP, said people depend on the environment for survival particularly farming.
Jeng noted that it has been reported that harvest and rainfall have decreased in the country as a result of climate change.
He therefore highlighted the significance of planting more trees in communities.
Majenung Sanyang, on behalf of Bassick alkalo assured the donors that they would ensure the trees are protected.
Under the project, GRCS intend to plant 45, 000 trees in 10 communities in North Bank, Central River and Upper River Regions as well as supply 600 spades, 300 rakes, 300 cutlasses, 200 watering cans and 50 wheelbarrows.