By Samsideen Ceesay
Governance of marine and management of coastal resources dubbed ‘Go-Wamer’ recently concluded two-day sensitisation training for site management committees on waste management.
The training is designed to raise the awareness of the participants on the importance of the protected areas in Tanbi National Park as well as strengthen coastal marine resources. The training was held at Samega Janneh hall in Tallinding.
The Go-Wamer project is funded by EU in six West African nations, namely The Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Mauritania and Cape Verde.
Speaking to The Standard, the national expert, Go-Wamer project in the Gambia, Babanding Kanyi said the Go-Wamer project is supporting department of parks and wildlife management to conduct site management training for communities living in Tanbi as well as raise their awareness on the importance of the protected area in Tanbi National Park.
“We supported department of parks and wildlife management to develop two management plans for Tanbi National Park and Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve”.
“We are trying to improve management of the fisheries resources as well as other coastal resources like mangroves and other wild life species like oysters and manatees and to enhance biodiversity development,” he said, noting that the implementation was poor as a result of the closure of WWF and now the project is under the UNDP.
“When the WWF close in the West Africa the Go-Wamer project was handed to UNDP a contract was signed between the EU and UNDP to implement the project”.
He said the six countries are located in geographical area that is very rich in fisheries resources and “we have noticed that they are declining resources now. That’s why the project has come to intervene for the sustainability of the marine resources.
“The fisheries resources are declining worldwide. There is high pressure on fisheries resources as population increases,” he noted, adding that natural factors like climate is responsible for the declining of fisheries resources.
“The project started in 2013 and supposed to phase out in 2016, due to bad implementation the project was extended without increasing the budget for two years and that extension started from 2016 to 2017, the project will end in December 2017”.
Nuha Jammeh, from department of parks and wildlife management who doubles as the desk officer, African Euro Asian Water Bird Agreement, said: “Ramsar site is an important wetland that is recognized and significant on the lives of the people. Mangroves contribute a lot in the atmosphere, mangroves produce good oxygen so this contributes to the clearing of the green gases”.
Hon Ebrima E Jarjou, councillor Lamin ward, said the training has come at the right time. “We are now in the rainy season and most of the issues and comments raised by the participants are really affecting people particularly this time of the season; that is illegal dumping of waste in our streets.
“We are calling on authorities to bring back the monthly clean up exercise at least once in a month. This will reduce the tight presence of malaria and other diseases. It is through ‘set settal’ that will help us to clean our environment.”