By Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang
Lamin Nasso, the Chairman of Niamina Katamina Youths Development Association has said that environmental protection is everyone`s business and therefore positive attitudinal change towards our environment becomes a driving force for any positive socio-economic development of the country, as environmental issues are paramount to any sustainable development agenda.
Nasso made these remarks recently in Katamina village, in the Central River Region while addressing hundreds of people who turned out from different destinies to participate in the second edition of the village`s annual massive cleansing exercise and management of fire belts to protect this Niamina settlement from the harmful impacts of bushfires and related scenarios.
As environment is a cross cutting issue, Chairman Nasso called on the youth population to take ownership of their environment and encourage others to join in the protection and preservation schemes. Environmental protection, he said has positive environmental, socio-economic and health impacts on the livelihoods of Gambians, noting that even the prevalence of malaria has drastically dropped in some areas comparing to previous years.
He thanked the National Environment Agency for their untiring support and effective collaboration with the local community in taking a holistic move in the sound management of their surrounding environment. He therefore called on other communities to emulate the good samples demonstrated by the people of Katamina.
Complementing this laudable initiative of the NEA, the youth association`s Chairman noted that there is a greater need for one to render maximum support to these deserving local communities in realizing their dreams of cleaning their environment which is meant to override current environmental problems.
Fatou Sonko, leader of the women folk hailed the youths for taken their righteous position by giving back to the community where they were brought up, by helping and give a positive face to their childhood environment. She revealed that the massive exercise led to the cleaning the entire village and further created fire belts around the circumference of the village as a device against bushfires.
“We have a lot other activities in our work plan we will undertake in the village”, she disclosed but specifically pointed out tree planting around the village and along the sides of the highway that passes through the village. She therefore took this opportunity to call on the youths to be steadfast and be conscious to the fact that it`s only them the citizens who can trigger development into their village.
Alkalo Landing Jadama and Imam Malamin Dampha both hailed and thank the young citizens of the village to command the lead into the development aspiration of that Niamina community. They registered their profound appreciation to the youth folk, the elder for their continuous guidance and the women for their unflinching support. “There is no better thing than giving back to the village or community that breed and broom you up, not to mention the attainment of your formal education”, the village elders posited showing appreciation.