By Olimatou Coker
Large Scale Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EbA) project last Friday handed over 13 vehicles to its partners in the country.
The project donated 5 tractors, 5 double cabin pick-ups to EbA regional coordinators and 3 Toyota Fortuna to its project implementation partners – Department of Parks and Wildlife Management (DPWM), Department of Community Development (DCD) and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources ( MECCNAR).
Speaking at the handing over ceremony at the EbA project office in Kanifing, Lamin Dibba, environment minister, said the objective of the project is to build the climate resilience of rural Gambian communities by developing a sustainable natural resource-based green economy.
“The EbA project shall rehabilitate up to 10,000 hectares of degraded forest and community or wildlife protected areas through reforestation, enrichment planting, conservation of rare and endangered species as well as the restoration of 3,000 hectares of abandoned and marginal agricultural lands,” Dibba explained.
He went on to say that the project will also establish natural resource-based business as well as provide policy and institutional support to partner department.
“When implemented as planned, the EbA project shall directly benefit up to 11,550 Gambian households, with the potential to indirectly reach a further 46,200 households in the target regions like URR, CRR and LRR. Of these, 50 percent will be women,” he said.
According to him, these vehicles are being provided to enhance the institutional capacity of participating departments and facilities for continuous monitoring and supervision of project activities by senior staff of these respective departments.
Dibba said the development is also a major milestone for the EbA project as it would facilitate continuous engagement between policy and practice towards sustaining work at field level.
“This will also enhance effective participation of implementing partners in the overall project implementation and to enable the partners directly connect with field staff on the ground and motivate them in delivering project activities especially at regional level.
“I will want to remind the beneficiaries that, this is a heavy investment as all the 13 vehicles cost about 40,000 dollars, I will implore the recipients to take maximum care of the vehicles in order to ensure their lasting impact on the project”.
Other speakers were Ebrima Sawaneh, director, Department of Community Development. He thanked EbA and promised that the vehicles will be put to good use.