By Olimatou Coker & Mariama Jallow
Last Wednesday, the European Union officially launched a 1.3 million euros (over D80 million) project for three NGOs; ActionAid International The Gambia (AAITG), Action Against Hunger-Gambia (AAH), and Mbolo Association at a conference held at Metzy Hotel.
The aim of the project is to increase the participation of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in tackling climate change and promoting environmental sustainability. The focus of this project has been placed on labour-intensive work interconnected with women’s empowerment and youth participation.
Corrade Pampaloni, the EU ambassador to The Gambia, said economic empowerment of women is crucial for the sustainable development of the country and its economic growth.
The project is a three-year project and will promote the participation of women and youth in the green economy, in eco-restoration, and as agents of environmental protection.
Ambassador Pampaloni explained that ActionAid, Catholic Relief Services and United Purpose, are organisations that work towards “empowering civil society organisation to mobilise citizen action towards a green economy and environmental sustainability in CRR. NBR is an amount of 500,000 euros of which 10 percent will be contributed by AAITG. Action Against Hunger aims to shape a sustainable future through joint action and the total value of this project is 440,000 euro. Mbolo association aims to drive women’s economical activities in 11 rural communities in The Gambia. They will be receiving 449,966 Euros,” the ambassador said.
Lamin Dibba, the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, and Natural Resources, said The Gambia, like most developing countries is contributing minimally to the cause of climate change.
However, the vagaries of climate change negatively impact our economy,” he said.
“The erratic nature of rainfall, coupled with increased temperatures have resulted in a decline in crop yield and increased livestock mortality.”
The Executive Director of AAITG, Omar Badjie, said over 70 percent of the population depend on agriculture and agricultural-related activities for their livelihoods. “[A country] which is going through a transitional process from dictatorship to democracy, the relevance and pertinence of resilience against climate change and good governance cannot be overemphasized,” he said.
The country manager of Action Against Hunger, Ablavi Madeleine Djossou, discussed the aims and accomplishments of AAH.
According to him, the project will benefit 3000 people, strengthen 10 CBOs and 11 communities. “It will establish a national network for the SMEP for governance, innovation, and network. Furthermore, the involvement of local governments as another stakeholder will benefit approximately 100,000 people.”