By Kebba AF. Touray
All Gambia Forestry Platform in partnership with the community of Jomo Kunda village in the Foni Kansala District, over the weekend embarked on massive mangrove restoration on the river Bank.
The ‘Alkalo’ of Jomo Kunda, Yaya Jarju, expressed appreciation of the bold restoration initiatives; that the exercise is a big boost for the development of his village at a time when he is the village head. He said the restoration of the mangrove has been a concern for his villagers in the sense that when the riverside was full of mangrove, fish was abundant; but that due to human activities and climate change, the environment has faced serious degradation. He used the opportunity to commend his community for their active participation during the exercise and challenged them to continue the hard work and plant more trees especially mangrove plants which is vital in fish breeding. He commended the NEMA- Chosso project under the Ministry of Agriculture for the support rendered toward the realizing of the project. He described the exercise as a step in the right direction towards the restoration of their environment. He appealed to the Nema-Chosso project to extend their support toward such projects in their community and acknowledge the effort of Ebrima Camara for initiating the exercise.
Ebrima Camara, the coordinator of the All Gambia Forestry Platform, said this was established in 2012 through the national forestry strategy program funded by the FAO, to support the implementation of the national forestry program activities.
He said the exercise covers forest management and protection; adding that they conduct tree planting exercises and mangrove restoration or rehabilitation within the community during the rainy season; that this particular exercise started last year with the Nema-Chosso project under the Ministry of Agriculture. He said the main objective of the exercise is to embark on massive rehabilitation of the mangrove within the community; that last year, they started with four communities and successfully conducted the exercise this year; that they have increased the number of villages to sixteen communities, for them to benefit from the project.
Camara said the exercise is only limited to the West Coast region; adding Jomo Kunda was identified as a result of a survey that was conducted to find out the needs of his community. He said the area was found to be the most degraded, and was found to have the potentials for mangrove restoration. He applauded the level of the participation of the community which he said shows that they are concerned about their environment. He called on other communities to emulate Jomo kunda and calls for close partnership with community-based or civil society organizations so that they can be able to achieve their objectives.
The exercise which was attended by the youth and women of Jomo-Kunda village, was coordinated by the village Head Yaya Jarju and supported by the ‘Nema Chosso’ project under the Ministry of agriculture.