By Awa Macalo
Beakkanyang, a human rights and environment focus NGO, has recently concluded a three-day climate change reporting training for about 30 journalists in the Upper River Region, URR.
The training, held at the Regional Health Directorate Conference Hall in Basse, was funded by the Netherlands Embassy in Senegal.
Speaking on the occasion, the governor of URR, Mr. Samba Bah, commended Beakanyang for building the capacity of reporters in the region.
He lamented that the issues of climate change are underreported in the region while hoping that henceforth, there will be more coverage on climate change.
For his part, Mr. Nfamara Jawneh, Executive Director of Beakanyang, reaffirmed his organization’s commitment in empowering journalists for effective climate change message dissemination.
“The challenges we are facing today as a result of climate change are numerous and according to experts concerted efforts are needed to mitigate the impact,” he said.
“On our part, since 2013, we have been working with communities across this region to mitigate the effects of climate change. Thanks to the effective coordination of our Environment Unit, over the years, we have established woodlot gardens, provided women with startup capitals to support their small-scale businesses, planted hundreds of trees and raised awareness on the impact of climate on vulnerable communities among others,” he revealed.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Alasana Camara, President of URR Journalists’ Association commended Beakanyang for building the capacity of their members.
He noted that building the capacities of journalists to ensure the dissemination of relevant and timely climate related information will greatly contributed in minimizing the effects of climate change especially on vulnerable communities.
In his keynote address delivered virtually, Mr. Omar Malmo Sambou, (PhD candidate), board chairperson of Beakanyang and climate change expert, expressed appreciation to the trainers and the Netherlands Embassy in Senegal for making the training possible.
“Environmental issues are quite essential and for me, they are human rights issues. When a society lacks food, potable water and other basic life essentials that are driven by climate change and its impact, that is really considered as a human rights issue,” he said.
He encouraged participants to put the skills and knowledge acquired from the training into good use by helping to disseminate and communicate effectively climate change related happenings in the region and beyond.