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Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Gambia launches $45M World Bank environmental project

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By Aminata S Kuyateh

The government of the Gambia through the ministry of environment climate change and natural resources in partnership with the world bank yesterday launched a USD45M project as part of the West Africa Coastal Areas resilience investment project, WACA.

The regional project is funded by the world bank to provide financial and technical assistance to countries and regional institutions to address coastal resilience, using coastal erosion, flooding, and pollution as entry point.

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In The Gambia, the project will intervene in the Kotu Stream area specifically in the Kanifing Municipality and Brikama.

Ebrima Jawara, deputy permanent secretary, ministry of environment said The Gambia is susceptible to flooding, which is projected to increase due to the anticipated impacts of climate change. “Following  various consultations with key stakeholders, the rehabilitation of the Kotu stream was identified as a priority intervention site, with the objective that it would reduce the vulnerability of the Kotu stream’s inhabitants to the effects of climate change,”he said.

 The minister, Rohey John Manjang said the world bank’s financing of the WACA project amounts to $492 million of which Gambia is allocated $45M to be executed in five years.

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Minister Manjang said the objective of the WACA project is in line with the new green recovery focused NDP, and out of the five proposed areas, the Kotu Stream is the selected intervention site. “This decision was guided by a coastal risk assessment of the Greater Banjul Area conducted in 2019 to 2022, funded by ACP EU National Disaster Risk Reduction (NDRR) programme, as part of the integrated urban and coastal resilience technical assistance program to The Gambia.

Representing the World Bank country representative, Madame Sayinabou Seye said the blue economy is essential for development in Africa because jobs, livelihood and food security depends on the health, stability and productivity of coastal and marine areas. “By safeguarding productive coastal landscape and addressing risk from natural hazards, The Gambia will be in a better position to take full advantage of its many assets and better prepared to manage the effects of climate change,” she said.

Madam Seye said this is exactly why The Gambia joined the WACA project. Other speakers included Vice President Muhammad Jallow who performed the launching, the secretary general Salimatta Touray among others.

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