By Awa Macalo
The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources starts a four-week validation workshop on technical report of the Pilot Program for Climate Resilient Project (PPCR), on Thursday at the OIC secretariat in Bijilo.
Gambia is among countries advocating for global climate change, and has benefitted from the World Bank’s climate investment fund (CIF), which enabled the government to prepare a strategic programme for climate resilience (SPCR) under the PPCR.
The objective of the project is to support developing countries to build resilience to the impacts of climate change by preparing and implementing a strong strategic investment plan of climate change intervention which is a 25-year plan.
The validation of the technical reports for PPCR, came after the Ministry of Environment concluded a regional consultation with the Belgian consulting firm Agrer on climate change months ago, which targeted all the administrative regions of The Gambia including a diverse range of stakeholders to determine the challenges they face in relation to climate change.
Modou Mbye Jabang, permanent secretary, MECCNAR, admitted that Gambia is one of most vulnerable countries in Africa affected by climate change. “It has experienced natural disasters including drought related, crop failures and severe floods which impact on the health and food security of the country, the low lying nature of the Gambian coastline especially the Capital City Banjul makes the country highly vulnerable to impacts of coastal erosion and sea level rise,” he said.
However, it is part of the most progressive countries implementing ambitious international climate change actions.
Jabang said that at the national level, important steps have been taken to redress the issue of climate change. This includes the establishment of necessary bodies to fight against the impact of climate change in the country.
Abubacarr Jallow, the program coordinator for MECCNAR, in his presentation on the report, highlights climate change in the context of the Gambia. Over the past forty years, the country has experienced a decline in mean total annual rainfall. Since the mid 1960s, changes in climate observed in the Gambia to sea level rise characterized by erratic rainfall pattern; unseasonal rains and torrential rainfall, storms, intra-seasonal drought and cold spells.