Banjul climate caravan engages WCR stakeholders on climate change

Banjul climate caravan engages WCR stakeholders on climate change
By Sulayman Waan

The Young Volunteers for the Environment (YVE) in partnership with The Gambia Environmental Alliance, Women and Children Aid- The Gambia (WoCAG) dubbed Banjul Climate Caravan on Tuesday engaged indigenous groups and stakeholders in West Coast Region on climate changes. The campaign is funded by Oxfam International.

The meeting was attended by farmers, garners, fisher men, among others.

The caravan aims to organize mass mobilization of citizens including regional stakeholders and indigenous groups across the country demonstrating solidarity with victims of climate change, showing how everyone is affected by climate change and demanding leaders to address the climate crisis in an unprecedented way.

According to experts, climate change is aggravating, making farming difficult due to flooding; salt water inundation; cyclone damage; desertification and drought; and unseasonal and unpredictable weather.

These are being caused by excessive greenhouse gas emissions and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources particularly from the wealthy industrialized countries.
Fanta Darboe, National Coordinator for the Banjul Climate Caravan described climate change as a global concern, noting that all countries are combating the catastrophe to save the world.
She added that, “Climate change affects all but how it affects people varies; therefore, we deem it necessary to engage you (participants) to ensure we know how it is affecting you.”
She said developed nations bear the responsibility for climate change but the poor in the Global South like the Gambia are bearing the burden and suffering of the menace.

“African countries are losing $20 billion yearly because of climate change. This means that the productive output of each African country is reduced by 5 to 15% every year,” she told participants.
The environmental activist said no single body can fight climate change alone; adding that combating it is a collective responsibility.
Ousman Bojang, Governor of West Coast Region (WCR) commended YVE for voluntarily embarking on such initiative with the quest to know how the menace affects live and livelihood of people.
He described efforts of achieving climate justice as a universal goal set, saying this is the only way the disadvantaged parts of the world like The Gambia will have a just division, fair sharing and equitable distribution of the benefits.

“The role of regional and local governments is key to any national and international climate policy. For any climate action to make a strong impact in any society, using the potential of the regional and local knowledge cannot be underestimated,” he said.
However, Governor Bojang said with proper planning and coming up with solutions, regional governors can have great impact in policies that will influence central government and those actions can influence the international stakeholders.
Bojang assured government supports to YVE and partners.
Salman Demba, NEA regional coordinator for the WCR said there is a greater need for all to combat climate change as well as keep the environment clean and hygienic.

“We should not throw waste within our surroundings, most especially plastic bags,” he said, while urging all to manage their waste properly to avoid environment hazard in the society.
Isatou F Cham, a gardener who participated in the forum said climate change has greatly affected gardeners. She noted that sometimes their vegetable would not germinate as expected due to climate change.
Borry Ceesay, also a participant called for attitudinal change with regards to deforestation, saying people often cut trees without replacing them.

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