By: Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang
Lamin Nasso, the Chairman of Niamina Katamina Youth Development Association said environmental protection is everyone`s business and therefore positive attitudinal change towards our environment becomes a driving force for any positive socio-economic development of the country.
He said this is because environmental issues are paramount to any sustainable development agenda.
Nasso made these remarks recently in Katamina village, in the Central River Region while addressing hundreds of people who turned out from different areas to participate in the second edition of the village`s annual massive cleansing exercise and the management of fire belts to protect the settlement from the harmful impacts of bushfires and related scenarios.
As the environment is a cross cutting issue, Chairman Nasso called on the youth to take ownership of their environment and encourage others to join in it’s protection and preservation. Environmental protection he said, has positive environmental, socio-economic and health impacts on the livelihood of Gambians, noting that even the prevalence of malaria has drastically dropped in some areas, compared to previous years.
He thanked the National Environment Agency for their untiring support and effort and their effective collaboration with the local community in the sound management of their surroundings. He called on other communities to emulate the good samples demonstrated by the people of Katamina.
Complementing this laudable initiative of the NEA, the youth association`s Chairman noted that there is greater need for one to render maximum support to these deserving local communities in realizing their dreams of cleaning their environment which is meant to override current environmental problems.
Fatou Sonko, the leader of the women folk, hailed the youth for taking their righteous positions by giving back to the community where they were brought up; that the massive exercise led to the cleaning of the entire village and further create fire belts around the circumference of the village, as a device against bushfires.
“We have a lot of other activities in our work plans to undertake in the village”, she disclosed. She pointed out tree planting around the village and along the sides of the highway that passes through the village specifically, as the main activity. She took the opportunity to call on the youth of the village to be steadfast and conscious that it`s only them, the citizens, who can trigger development in their village.
Alkalo Landing Jadama and Imam Malamin Dampha both hailed and thanked the young citizens of the village in commanding the lead in the development aspirations of Katamina community. They registered their profound appreciation and prayers to them and assured the women of their unflinching support. “There is no better thing than giving back to the village or community that bred and brought you up,” the village elders posited in showing appreciation.