Gambia — Agency for the Development of Women and Children (ADWAC), in partnership with the Department of Forestry recently concluded a two-day anti-bush fire campaign in the North Bank Region.
The campaign, which was designed to raise public awareness on the effects of bushfire and environment, was funded by the Sustainable Agricultural and Environmental Governmental Project SAGE, through ADWAC.
Prior to the campaign proper, a two-day radio talk show was held at the North Bank Community Radio in Kerewan, aimed at intensifying the campaign.
Speaking at the start of the campaign in Jurunku, Mustapha Saidy, Deputy Governor of NBR, lauded the efforts of ADWAC and Forestry Department in building more public awareness on the effect of bush fire.
Chief Momodou Chatty Cham of Jurunku in Upper Nuimi assured the district authority’s fullest support in enforcing Forest Act and then called on the alkalolu to be vigilant in the control of fire. He said protection of the forest calls for concerted efforts.
The district chiefs cautioned the residents to be goodwill ambassadors of the forest and the community to protect it from bush fire.
The Executive Director of ADWAC, Mamsamba Joof noted that the attainment of food security can only be realized, if the environment is protected from bush fire and illegal logging. He noted that ADWAC is committed to promoting food security and sustainable development. Commenting on the campaign, he said, it would bring about positive behaviour towards the management of forest.
A representative of the Department of Forestry Cherno Gaye, Head of Participatory Forest Management Unit underscored the important role district authorities play in forest management and protection of forest from bush fire. He hailed the efforts of ADWAC in complementing the efforts of the forestry department in promoting environmental governance and sustainable livelihood.
Mr. Gaye said participatory forest management calls for concerted efforts of stakeholders and producers. He said the two-day campaign was highly lauded by the management of forestry department in broadening public awareness on forest policy and regulations on bushfire.
For his part, Babanding Sanyang, at the Department of Forestry Communication Unit, said the partnership with ADWAC would contribute towards strengthening community response in the management of forest.
Hon. Mamcherno Jallow, National Assembly Member for Upper Nuimi applauded the numerous contributions of ADWAC to the community of Upper Nuimi, mainly in the area of poverty alleviation.
Hon. Samba Cham, Central Baddibu NAM, echoed similar sentiment and then called on district authorities to be proactive in the maintenance of forest.