By Olimatou Coker
In their bid to address climate change, Childfund and its partners recently continued to commemorate International Youth Day in Faraba Banta where young people mobilized and planted 2000 mangrove seedlings, and 60 other non-fruit trees along the swamps, and in the village community forests.
The activity was supported by ChildFund, its local partners, and LEAP Africa.
The exercise that brought together young people of Faraba Batang is meant at restoring and protecting mangrove forest cover, among others.
Alagie Jassey, Saama Kairo Federation community mobilizer, said the move is meant to restore, increase and protect mangrove forest covered by planting, conserving as well as regenerating the degraded mangrove forests.
“Tree is life, the young people of Faraba Bantang have planted 2000 mangrove trees to preserve the side. It is part of our agenda, to mobilize young people to talk to them about the importance of trees and how to preserve our nature”.
Baboucarr Jaiteh, a ranger from Parker’s and Wildlife, underscored the importance of mangroves in building the ecosystem.
He described mangrove forests as an important ecosystem that provides habitat for fish, birds and dives
“The 502 hectares area called the Faraba Bantang conserve area for equatorial tourism here was ticketed with mangrove but it has all been forested by looking for fencing poles, firewood and charcoal”.
Kaddy S. Saama, Kairo Federation sponsored child, reiterated young people’s commitment to restore the biodiversity of the wetland and sustainability of the ecosystem.
“We are here on the rivers to repel the lost mangroves because we have lost most of the mangroves due to man activities and others”.
Mandingx, who is also Saama Kairo Federation sponsored child, said: “I am impressed that the young people of our village came out in large numbers, most especially the girls, much thanks to them. This shows that we are responsible and then we can do anything for our village”.
Lamin Ceesay, chairperson Faraba Bantang Youth Association, said mangrove forests are very vital in helping the society adapt to climate change impacts.
“It is very important to young people considering that this will prevent climate devastating effects and it will help young people to be able to do other types of activities. Young people as well as those that are bird watchers can also benefit from the birds that we have around here. And it serves as the habitation for birds so basically, it’s very important”.
From Faraba Bantang, the team proceeds to Jonier Village in Foni where single activities have been done at the village forest.
Speaking in Jonier, Edi Bah, Federation Manager of Foni Ding-Ding Federation, said they are to plant trees to green the environment. “Foni is an area where the forestation is affecting the environment. Most of the trees have been used for firewood, charcoal, burning and timber so we are left with almost nothing. So coming here today is something very significant as far as celebration is concerned. Because we realize that this forest is well protected by the community. It is benefiting the community”.
He added that they have planted different species of trees.
Part of their sustainability mechanism, Omar Jurju, the village Alkalo of Jonier, assured Childfund and partners that they will make sure that no bush fires in the forest. “Those are number one because if you have trees that you have planted, they may be burned. We will make sure we will have a fire belt to protect the forest and trees that are planted here and we wouldn’t allow animals entering to destroy these trees.”