The Tanbi Wetland is recognised as a site of regional and international importance by Western African Eco Region’s Conservation plans as the site harbours species of global significance, including a nursery for more than 70 fish species.
The Tanbi National Park is located in the Greater Banjul Area between Banjul Island and Kanifing Municipality; the most densely populated area in The Gambia.
The site is also home to more than 100 species of birds, manatees, Nile crocodile and is a pathway for dolphins.
In an interview with the Daily Observer, Abdoulie Sawo of the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management, said the Tanbi Wetland plays a vital role in ecosystem functions such as providing breeding and nursery site for aquatic species and an adequate space for flood control. He added that the site also reduces the speed of violent storms and provide heaven for migratory birds.
Sawo was speaking during a mangrove planting exercise organised by his Department with support from the Agriculture CHOSSO Project.
“Globally, World Mangrove Day is celebrated on the 26th July every year but The Gambia does not celebrate it until September 30. The celebration will be done by planting as many [mangrove saplings] as we can, through the intervention of many SGP-funded community-based orgnisation coastal resilience projects, and others,” he said.
He went on to note the significance of planting mangroves especially in protected areas, due to their long recognition and legal status particularly those around the coast, considering climate change scenarios.
“Endangered, threatened and rare aquatic species such as West African Manatee, Clawless Otter, Atlantic Humpback Dolphin, etc do exist in Tanbi, which qualified it to earn RAMSER status, meaning it is a Wetland of International Importance and also Important Bird Area (IBA).’’
Sawo added that this particular exercise makes it three times in a row that the planting exercise is done at the Cape Point creek area.
He explained that the creek and aquatic animals had suffered from the disconnection influenced by accumulation of sand dune that blocked the flow of water between the sea and creek.
by Samba Jawo