The Gambia– A two-day training workshop geared towards equipping participants with the skills to manage bush fires was held in Kerewan, North Bank Region from 13 to 14 April 2016.
The event, dubbed Participatory Bush fire Management Sensitisation, was organised under the Sustainable Land Management Project with a French acronym of PRGDT-NBR.
The workshop attracted 40 participants representing the villages in NBR where the project is being implemented.
The participants were drawn from different categories of forest users such as community forest management committees, private forest owners and woodlot managers, farmers, herders, VDCs/alkalolu, and technical advisory committee members.
The two-day workshop was meant to sensitise forest users on the rapid rate of forest and environmental degradation due to bushfire and the impacts of such fires on the lives of people.
It was also to map-out fire risk areas and develop scientific methods, incorporating sustainable local solutions, towards the management of forest fires.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Lamin Queen Jammeh of NBR urged all forest users to engage in bushfire control, prevention and management.
He also encouraged tree planting, community forest management, woodlot and private forest management and development in order to help achieve the government set targets.
The local consultant, Sarjoh Fatajoh, said addressing forest fires are issues of environmental concerns.It is also a means of addressing the poverty status of the people, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
Chief Fabala Fadia Kinteh of Lower Badibou District said bushfires are caused by human activities so it can be tackled when people change their habits and attitudes towards the environment.
Kebba Sonko, coordinator of PRGDT-NBR project, gave a brief situational overview and status of the project implementation, achievements and shortcomings.