Gambia — The director of Forestry, Mr. Abdoulie Alpha Sanneh has recently opened the training of trainers on school tree nursing competition in Janjanbureh.
The training which is funded by the UNDP is earmarked to keep schools and local environments green at all times as well as equip participants with the requisite skills and know-how on issues cardinal to the proper keeping of the natural habitat that includes tree nursery techniques and preventing bush fires among others.
While declaring the training open, Mr. Sanneh urged participants to make best use of the training, noting that combating bush fires and tree nursery skills are an integral part of sound forestry management policies. He added that trees are vital to human life.
According to him, the training will go a long way in encouraging forest regeneration and improve health and food production. He urged the participants to share the knowledge gained with others who are not able to take part.
For his part, Mr. Ousainou Jobe, the project coordinator who is attached to the regional education office in region two, applauded the UNDP for their timely intervention, noting that the world organization has been supportive in providing series of trainings to not only for those in the educational circus but to others as well.
Mr. Jobe further postulated that the school green competition will go a long way in equipping participants with the basic techniques of maintaining nurseries beds, keeping school environments green at all times as well as improving the lives of the pupils, noting that communities and well wishes can also learn a lot from the pilot initiative thus giving chance to the growth of the natural vegetation.
He added that participants will also be trained on how to prevent bush fires, bookkeeping and accounting skills, noting that these are essential aspects of fulfilling the aims and objectives of the project.
“Sustaining the school green environmental competition is the hallmark of this training. This is why we are urging total commitment from teachers, garden masters, school authorities and members of the public who are the participants. We want the general public to understand that it is not only confined to schools but also calls for the participation of all and sundry in the drive to keep the environment green,” Jobe hinted.
Mr. Jobe further advised the participants to disseminate the information gathered from the training to the wider populace so that everybody’s hand could be on deck in ensuring that health environment persists, noting that protection of the environment inherited must be ensured to be treasured for the future. He finally urged them to engage in initiatives that will encourage environmental sanity but not to wait for government or forestry intervention.
Mr. Ousainou Cham, the regional director of forestry, West Coast Region also commended the UNDP for funding this initiative, noting that this will widen the capacity of the participants as well as promote environmental sanity. He said that this four year UNDP project is actually strengthening the efforts of the Forestry Department as it covers key areas relevant to good forest management.
He used the opportunity to advise farmers not to clear the forest just for the sake of production, while encouraging them to practice good afro-forestry policies to minimize damage on the nation’s forest cover. Participants were drawn from schools within the Central River region.