As part of its nationwide continuous efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, Beakanyang, a leading human rights and environment NGO, over the weekend entered into a partnership with Sankandi Youth Development Association in Kiang West district of Lower River Region.
A memorandum of understanding was signed during a community outreach programme at Sankandi Village.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Nfamara Jawneh, Executive Director of Beakanyang said since 2017 their NGO has expanded its activities to new intervention sites such as Jarra West and Kiang West respectively in LRR.
“In Jarra West, we are focusing on human rights while in Kiang West, our intervention is focusing on the environment especially climate change,” he disclosed.
According to him, the outreach activity seeks to engage communities in Kiang West to brainstorm on their environmental challenges and take local actions to mitigate the impact of climate change.
“We are equally concern about the preservation of Kiang West National Park, KWNP, and we hope that by working with communities living around the Park we would be able to preserve it for posterity,” he said.
Mr. Jawneh, however stressed that in order to prevent people from intruding into the parks, communities living around them should be supported with livelihoods improvement options.
“Earlier on today, we were at Jiffarong for a mangrove restoration exercise and we can all see visibly the impact of climate change in Kiang West. We had an engagement with the community of Jiffarong and hopefully very soon, we will also sign an MoU with them” he noted.
“Prior to today’s meeting, a series of engagements has taken placed between Beakanyang and the community through SYDA and I am happy to keep the ball rolling,” he added.
For his part, the Alkalo of Sankandi Fabakary Darboe expressed happiness having Beakanyang in the community for such an important meeting. “We are very much committed to working closely with you to preserve our environment,” he said.
He urged the community members to work closely with the NGO to create a climate resilient community.
The lady president of Sankandi Mrs. Salimatou Darboe lamented the numerous challenges they face as women of the community.
“We are definitely suffering a lot as we lack enough water in our garden, some of us are being forced to venture into cutting trees for charcoal production just to take care of our families,” she said.
“Even our garden is not properly fenced as such animals always destroy our plants. We therefore need your intervention to help live a better life,” she stressed.
She further lamented salt intrusion and low crop yield over the years as some of the major challenges facing the community.
Meanwhile, other speakers included the VDC chairman Sutay Darboe and youth leader Ebou Jallow who called for concerted efforts to protect the forest from further destruction.
The ceremony was chaired by Ansumana Darboe, Chief Executive Officer of SYDA who reaffirmed their resolve to work with organizations like Beakanyang.