25.2 C
City of Banjul
Monday, October 2, 2023


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By Aminata S Kuyateh

The Gambia government has yesterday launched a $25 million project (about D1.5 billion) to enhance the adaptation, mitigation and reduction of climate-related risks facing the fisheries sector.

The Climate Resilient Fishery Initiative for Livelihood Improvement Project (PROREFISH) is a six-year initiative co-funded by the FAO and the Gambia government through the ministries of agriculture and fisheries.

The project is expected to support about 168 000 vulnerable women and men dependent on the fisheries value chain.

It will also promote climate resilient aquaculture, small scale fisheries infrastructure, restoration of fisheries habitats and adoption of aqua culture technologies that provide organic fertilizers for farming and fish production.

Speaking at the event, the minister of fisheries Musa Drammeh, said the country’s fisheries sector is facing numerous challenges from climate change impacts including the threat to the livelihoods of the poor fisher folk.

“The fish green climate fund project with an emphasis on fisheries will support vulnerable and poor fishing communities in building climate change resilience and diversifying livelihoods through technology improvements, climate resilient infrastructure and enhance local food system”, the minister said.

The FAO country representative, Moshibudi Rampedi, said The Gambia’s fisheries sector faces challenges from climate change impact. She said marine coastal and riverine fisheries are affected, livelihoods and economic development hindered.

Rampedi also said there is increasing salinity and acidity levels impact on the range and availability of fish species and may lead to failure to achieve required food and nutrition security levels.

“We have to invest in fisheries infrastructure and ecosystems for the broader attainment of the green recovery focused national development plan outcomes and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” Rampedi said.

Dawda Foday Saine, the secretary of the National Association of Artisanal Fisheries Operators, Naafo, said his members understand that the fisheries resources in which they seek their livelihood need to be nurtured and protected in their own small ways without funding from any sources and have taken actions to conserve and manage fisheries resources.

“The sea is in danger of overfishing, pollution, habitats destruction, unsustainable coastal development, increased mining activities along the coastal area, ocean warming and acidification, each of which is a threat to indispensable natural resources,” Saine said.

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