27 December 2012

Gambia: Progebe-Gambia Intensifies Anti-Bush Fire Campaign in CRR

Janjangburehm — The Regional Project on Sustainable Management of Endemic Ruminant Livestock in West Africa (PROGEBE-Gambia) recently embarked on anti-bush fire campaign in Nianija District of the Central River Region (CRR) north, designed to raise awareness on the negative impact of this devastating phenomenon.

The event was also marked by presentation of fire fighting equipment; such as sprayers and fire beaters, to the communities of the district where the project is being implemented, meant to help in containing bush fires when they erupt.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, the governor of the region, Alhaji Ganyie Touray underscored the numerous achievements registered by the project in Nianija district.

Maintaining that whilst the project was established for the sustainable management of endemic ruminant livestock in the region, Governor Touray stressed that the objective of protecting these animals would not be atained if their grazing areas are not cared for. He emphasised the need to protect and control the forest against bushfires, thus underscoring the significance of this donation.

Touray finally called on the communities in the region to stop farming on the cattle tracks as the herders use them to get access to grazing areas.

The national project coordinator of PROGEBE-Gambia, Dr Famara Sanyang, explained that the project is a sub-regional scheme that is being implemented in Senegal, Mali and Guinea. He used the opportunity to highlight some of the achievements registered by the project in both Niamina East and Nianija districts, citing five boreholes that have been dug in the beneficiary communities.

Dr. Sanyang told the gathering that the project has created some cattle tracks for easy access to grazing, as well as the establishment of milk processing units in Njau and Kudang in the area. He used the opportunity to advise the two communities to respect the cattle tracks, with a view to avoiding dispute.

The project coordinator also spoke extensively on the importance of protecting and controlling the forest against bush fires; and its multiple benefits to the livelihood of the local dwellers.

Also speaking at the occasion, the chief of Nianija District, Alassan David Cham, commended The Gambia government and project staff for their poverty eradication strives. The fire fighting equipment provided, according to the Nianija chief, would go a long way towards empowering them to protect the forests against bushfires, which he said is the major factor of deforestation. He assured them that the equipment would be put into good use.

The occasion was chaired by the project site coordinator, Mamud Njie.

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