The government of The Gambia is taking the threats posed by climate change seriously, and the deleterious consequences it could have on the lives of people, especially costal inhabitants. A massive contract is signed between the government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to help areas at risk of Climate Change.
The areas that are to benefit from the project, such as Kololi, Senegambia and Tanji, are going to receive a big boost in their drive towards tackling the bad effects of climate change. Our country, despite the modicum contribution that we make to the change of the climate, is among countries that bear the greatest brunt. Decades ago our environment was healthy, sustainable and resilient to serve our people. Because of that, the economic activities of our people were thriving, fishing businesses they were engaged in flourishing and the natural environment they are used to living in was serving them for the better. But now all that has been put at risk by climate change.
Phenomenons that were unknown or not experienced by many are now part of the warp and woof of normal lives: rise in sea level, change in weather patterns and depletion of our coastal areas. All these have put the lives of many people in our country in jeopardy. Therefore, it is wholly appropriate that our government and international partners are pooling efforts to uplift the lives of many people. When the project achieves its objectives, as we hope it would, it could bring economic security, opportunity and certainty to many people in the targeted communities. A government that works for everyday working Gambians is delivering on this: because it stands for wealth, power and opportunity that our country can offer in the hands of the many, not the few.
The key planks of the projects are: building institutional resilience for areas affected and the people. When it comes to climate change our country is moving very far and very fast to understand the right course of action. The experts are available, and there is appetite for action. Our Environment and Climate Change Minister, Pa Ousman Jarju, understands the nuanced, practical and complex details of climate change. During the last December UN Climate Change talks, he was one of the leading officials from developing countries co-chairing session, with the UK’s then Climate Secretary, Amber Rudd, who was moved yesterday from her Climate Change brief to Home Secretary under the new British Prime Minister Theresa May. The government of President Jammeh is on the side of Gambians. On tackling climate change, promise made: promise delivered!