4 December 2012

Gambia: Focus On Key Environmental Challenges in the Country


Hello readers, welcome to another edition ofEnvironment. As we promised, we would be featuring crucial elements surrounding environmental facts, challenges and stories meant to raise awareness on the devastating effects of environmental degradation; and to evoke constructive debate for a much better approach.

In this edition, we would like to share with our readership some of the most daunting environmental challenges in the country. These challenges we believe are very vital to a country that is growing and looks to living in a world without monumental threats posed by environment destruction. These challenges included: bush fire, littering, coastlines and climate change.

Bush fire

One of the most fundamental natural heritage The Gambia as a country can boast of is its forest, wild animals and birds among other things and it is because of this heritage that the country is able to drive momentum in agriculture as well as eco-tourism on sustained basis. These two sectors are very vital to our country's economic advancement and in order to keep them rolling, we therefore need collective efforts that have the potential to halt early bush burnings in our communities.

It is against this backdrop that, in this edition, we remind all players regarding environment, particularly local authorities, bush users and all other concerned individuals to put all hands on deck and vehemently advocate against bush burning, especially at an early stage of the dry season.

Effects of bush burning

Bush burning leads to loss of life, loss of homes and property, degradation of land and environment, loss of stock and wildlife. We must note that once an area has been burned out and denuded of vegetation, there is little left to hold the soil together, and any significant wind or hopefully, rain, will erode or wash away whatever is left.


Littering is a major environmental concern in our country and in order to dent this challenge the government of The Gambia through the National Environment Agency (NEA) instituted some anti-littering laws. We would like to relay the message and remind all environmental offenders that the laws are still in place and are only meant to punish wrongdoers.

However, one fundamental issue that is noteworthy is the issue of managing waste. Waste management is very expensive and for a country like ours to grow rapidly we must comply with the rules surrounding environment and only liter at recommended places. All concerned persons and citizens must also help by making sure that no littering takes place in the streets of their neighbourhoods, or report offenders of this game.

The rampant prevalence of plastic bags across the country is devastating and we believe that it is high time the issue is addressed. The Gambia is a beautiful country with hospitable people and it is one of the reasons that we are called the 'Smiling Coast' of Africa. Therefore it would a naked reality to make the public realise and understand the potential effects that surrounds throwing plastic bags in our streets and that it can be a key impediment in our strives to transforming The Gambian into a supper modern state.


A coastline or seashore is the area where land meets the sea or ocean. A precise line that can be called a coastline cannot be determined may be due to the dynamic nature of tides. The Gambia as a country have very fascinating coastline areas suitable for tourists attraction. The coastlines or seashore are also of great economical outstanding and importance not only for tourism, but also for a large share of coastal fisheries and tropical. We would therefore like to remind our readers and all coastline users to change their attitude towards our coastlines for both posterity and economic reasons.

Climate change

The climate is one of the most fundamental issues in this regard; its patterns play a fundamental role in shaping natural ecosystems, and the human economies as well as cultures that depend on them. Climate includes patterns of temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind and seasons. Climate change affects more than just a change in the weather; it refers to seasonal changes over a long period of time

Effects of climate change

The effect of climate change is serious and monumental and The Gambia is not an exception to the effects. Change in climate impacts on society and ecosystems in a broad variety of ways. It is also a reality that climate change can increase or decrease rainfall, influence agricultural crop yields, affect human health, cause changes to forests and other ecosystems, or even impede our energy supply.

Climate-related impacts are occurring across regions of the country and across many sectors of our economy. We also understand that the change in the usual timing of rains or temperatures can affect when plants bloom and set fruit, when insects hatch or when streams are their fullest. This can affect historically synchronized pollination of crops, food for migrating birds, spawning of fish, water supplies for drinking and irrigation, forest health, and many more.

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