By Ndey Sowe
City Link Ostend- Banjul in partnership with Banjul City Council on Wednesday 26th August 2020 launched a 5000 coconut tree planting initiative for the Banjul coastline.
This marks the first activity of greening city and it is part of a project funded by the European Union worth 3.1 million Euros. The project will span for three years, under the theme: “Protect the Environment, Plant A Tree”.
The project is aimed at strengthening the urban governance capacity of Banjul City Council (BCC) by developing an efficient public service and a future ‘proof programme’ for the city of Banjul.
Annette Camara, the Communications Officer City Link Ostend-Banjul said the project focuses on areas like good governance, greening the city, improved city waste management, accessible specialized health care and creation of a sustainable development center at Crab Island (former school site).
She added under the greening part of the project, one of the planned activities is the planting of 5000 coconut trees on the beach of Banjul with the aim of preventing erosion and desertification.
Attaila Lajos, the European Union Ambassador to the Gambia said the coconut trees will be ‘engine for economic growth’ and will contribute to food security within the city.
“We are here today to prepare for the future, we plant trees now to find a different world after the Covid-19 crisis”, EU Ambassador said.
He added that trees are nature’s own carbon removal engines, therefore restoring them to ecologically appropriate areas is important to keep the earth on path to avoid dangerous impact of climate change.
He quickly said the project goes beyond coastal protection and mitigating climate change. It is extremely encouraging to see the BCC invest in the knowledge and skills of its staff, he said.
Omar B Touray, the Deputy Major of Banjul City Council expresses gratitude towards the partnership and he commented the EU for the support.
He said the project is for Gambians and therefore it is everybody’s business to make it sustainable and he expressed hope for its continuity.
Mamlie Jatta, the Project Coordinator said there is no political or religious affiliation attached to it, but rather to build and uplift Banjul for better.