By Olimatou Coker
The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) through the Peace Building Fund (PBF) project has on Tuesday distributed 14,000 seedlings of different varieties and some garden tools to 4 communities in North Bank Region.
The seedlings disturbed to these 4 communities included mahogany, moringa, orange, cashew, gmelina and mango while garden tools included wheelbarrows, spades, rakes, cutlasses and cans.
Speaking in Bassick village in NBR, Abdoulie Fye, director of programs and operations, the Gambia Red Cross Society, said the project is initiated by the WFP which is supported by the United Nations Peace Building Fund and the GRCS together with WFP and other government departments partnered to implement it.
He said they want to promote peaceful co-existence among people and communities as climate change has a negative impact on their settlements and has even caused disputes when it comes to land issues.
“So basically, what the project is trying to do is to promote that peaceful co-existence among communities while trying to address the impact of climate change on the environment,” he said.
According to Director Fye, the project targets 10 communities, 4 in NBR, 4 in CRR, and 2 in URR.
He added that the seedlings are not just given to communities like that but they at the GRCS and partners had a discussion with the 10 communities on the type of varieties they want to grow in their communities.
He called on all the benefiting communities to take ownership of these seedlings and protect them at all cost.
Bakary B. Jarju, assistant regional forestry officer West Coast Region, said trees play a very important role in our livelihoods.
“Trees play a very significant role in influencing rainfall pattern; without trees, there wouldn’t be enough rainfall,” he said, adding that trees serve as windbreakers too.
Dr. Ismaila Mbenga, director of integrated pest management directorate, said trees can help in improving on climate change and also to protect the environment.
Njogu Jeng, senior program associate lead disaster risk management, World Food Programme, urged the villagers to play their part in taking care of the seedlings and tools given to them.