YVE, partners to embark on national climate caravan
By Sulayman Waan
Joe Bongay, Executive Director of Young Volunteers for the Environment (YVE) has said that his led organization and partners will embark on a nationwide climate caravan dubbed: “the Banjul National Climate Caravan” to meet stakeholders and indigenous groups across the country ahead of the COP27 Summit.
According to officials, the caravans will take place in West Coast Region, Central River Region, North Bank Region, Banjul City and ends in Kanifing Municipal Council on 13th October 2022.
YVE will execute the caravan tour in collaboration with The Gambia Environmental Alliance. The caravan is funded by Oxfam International in collaboration with The Gambia Government, and Pan African Climate Justice Alliance National Platform.
The Banjul Climate Caravan seeks to organize mass mobilization of citizens; key stakeholders and local communities across the country to demonstrate solidarity between the climate and development movement. It aims to enable environmental activists to inform people how everyone is affected by climate change.
Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Mr. Bongay said: “Today, as part of our efforts to amplify our voices, we are glad to kick start the Banjul Climate Caravan campaign, which aims to mobilize and galvanize the voices of the vulnerable communities. The caravan is an act of unity of collective action that makes visible the experiences and knowledge of diverse communities adapting to climate change.”
He said the Banjul Caravan is to influence strategic national targets on their positions regarding adaptation, mitigation, and climate finance so that climate responses better meet the expectations of communities affected by the climate crisis.
He said there is a need to demonstrate the strength of their movement and push, while the government plays its part.
Bongay further said that the campaign team will organize symposiums with indigenous group who are directly affected by climate change and regional stakeholder in all aforementioned regions in order to get firsthand information as to how climate change is affecting the public.
“We will visit farms and have face to face meetings with farmers to know the impact of climate change on them,” he said.
He added: “We will finally develop a declaration and present it to Government.”
Fatim Janka, a youth activist described climate change as a detrimental element to the environment. She noted that climate change could affect young people in various aspects in the future.
She said the global menace will cause food insecurity, unemployment, and other challenges thereby affecting young people as future leaders.
The youth activist said the youth folk are committed to combating climate change to enhance development. He therefore, called on authorities to reinforce their efforts in fighting the global challenge.
Fatou A Jeng, President for The Gambia Environmental Alliance said the caravan will help them to get first-hand information from the grassroots.
However, she argued that: “Many farmers now get low harvest and many people turned homeless due to climate change.”
She therefore called on Government and world leaders to put mechanism in place to address the menace of climate change in order to protect the future generation, most especially farmers.