By Isatou Jawara
The Gambia since the ratification of the Kyoto protocol, has received a significant volume of international financial support mainly in the form of grants to help improve its capacity to adapt to the changing climate, the minister for Environment has said Friday.
Lamin Dibba said a total of $52,822,672 was received to implement various climate change projects which were accessible through the Least Development Country Fund (LDCF).
He was speaking at the National Validation Workshop for Strategic Programme on Climate Resilience.
“As part of our quest to attract further climate change finance that can be manifested into tangible projects, The Gambia last year applied to the World Bank Climate Invest Funds (CIF) pilot programme and was selected as one of the 6 pilot countries to implement the programme,” the Minister told the gathering.
“A grant sum of 1.5 million was made available to the Government of The Gambia to prepare a strategic programme for climate resilience (SPCR).”
He revealed that finance for the initiative has been in the form of projects such as Coastal Resilience, Climate Change Early Warning, and Agricultural Adaptation projects.
“The Gambia is widely acknowledged as one of the most vulnerable countries in Africa to climate change, evidenced by the fact that the country has experienced drought and related crop failures and severe floods over the past decade,” he observed.
“Today, The Gambia is already facing severe threat to its entire coastline including the capital City Banjul from coastal erosion,” he added.
The environment minister explained that long term impacts of climate change on communities and their livelihoods, as well as increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events expose settlements to wide range of risks they are often ill-equipped to handle.
“Rural and urban communities lose livelihoods and homes, suffer physical danger and health problems and may need to relocate disadvantage communities, including subsistence farmers slum and coastal dwellers are particularly affected.”