By Ndey Sowe
‘Future Proof Banjul’ has recently embarked on the planting of 5000 Mangroves along the Radio Syd beach side in a bid to fight against growing concern of potential rise in sea level in Gambia’s capital in the future.
The exercise which was aimed at complementing one of the components of the City Link Ostend-Banjul Project (Greening Banjul), is part of the project entitled: “Building resilience for sustainable city development” funded by the European Union (EU).
The event was also a joint-beach cleansing exercise in commemoration of the International Coastal Clean Up Day.
Omar Touray, the Deputy Mayor of BCC, described the event as a unique one considering that it coincided with the International Clean Up Day.
“This day is unique and we are hoping to celebrate it next year with our partners,” he said Touray reiterated that the partnership between the Future Proof Banjul, the West Africa Bird Study Association and the Gambian Ocean Hero’s is a win-win situation while calling on Banjulians to take ownership of the project.
He said Banjul is below Sea level while calling on the Banjulians to act now in support of the component of Greening Banju.
“If we don’t green Banjul, few years to come we will be in disaster. We should all come together and work towards the betterment of the project,” he said Lamin Jobateh, the Executive Director of West Africa Birth Study Association, reiterated that planting mangrove is very important for the sustainment of the environment as it plays key roles in terms of coastal erosion, coastal protection, wind breaks and mitigates the effects of climate change.
He said mangrove serves as breathing ground for fish and acts as filter to clean the water at the same time serves as an important habitat for spices in general.
Speaking on the effects of climate change, Mr. Jobarteh said the changing in climate and landscape affects the mangrove ecosystem and it is very important for them to restore mangroves in areas that are already dead.
Meanwhile, International Coastal CleanUp Day is celebrated on 3rd of September every year. The day encourages people to rid of the garbage plaguing beaches and raise awareness about preserving and protecting the world’s oceans and waterways.
“Every year thousands of tons of garbage winds up in the oceans, with 60% of that being composed of plastic materials. Plastics especially last a very long time in the ocean and are in such abundance that there are 46,000 individual pieces of plastic litter for every square mile of ocean”, research shows.
Assan Maswell, a member of the Gambia Ocean Hero’s, said the day is celebrated to make the environment healthy and they are glad to commemorate the day with Future Proof Banjul this year.