Deputy Governor of Lower River Region, Kebba Darboe said that environmental protection is everyone's responsibility as it is a cross cutting issue.
He thanked the NEA for dripping down to grassroots level with such environmental education and awareness initiatives, and for cementing the already collaboration between the Governor's office and the NEA.
The awareness crusade also availed the team to sensitize the people through focus group discussions with regional stakeholders including the office of the Governor, Area Council, Chiefs, Alkalolus and community members. The discussions covered Anti-Littering Regulation, Ban on plastic bags order 2015, Tree Felling, illegal sand mining, Bush fires and other sustainable environmental protection schemes
The agency has tailored the awareness programme to suit the advocacy and awareness needs of local communities due to their inadequate knowledge on environmental issues, and this has created a dire need to embark on such massive sensitisation crusade in an effort to trigger attitudinal change in the people who are victims but also contribute to the deletion of our beloved environment.
Chief executive officer of Mansakonko Area Council, Pa Ceesay reaffirmed the council's readiness and willingness at all times to collaborate and work with the agency on all spheres of our environmental dispensation with his region.
He appealed to the NEA to help find out a solution to an expired fertilizer being stored at a place where the council wanted to implement a six (6) million Euro project through the Youth Enterprise Project (YEP) by establishing a service centre in the regions that will promote youths and environmental considerations. According to him, the council will continue to assist and facilitate some of the activities of the agency within the region.
Mr Ceesay advocated for the removal of the expired fertilizer that is stored in one of their buildings that is currently exposing health threat in the whole area. He further called on the Government of the Gambia to remove the expired fertilizer that has been in stock for the past four years as an effort to avert the threats of this exposure.
Programme officer for environmental education and communication at NEA, Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang disclosed that plastic bag pollution rendered severe environmental and health threats to humans, livestock and the marine eco-system. He said due to its adverse effects and uncompromising hazards, the Government of the Gambia banned the use, production and sale of plastic bags in the country in July 2015.
He told the gathering and keen listeners that the country needs the blessing support and collaboration of all Area Councils and Municipalities in an effort to collectively effect the ban on plastic bags that find their way into our sustainable livelihood support systems. He further disclosed that Plastic bags do not decompose for many years and therefore has the potential to destroy soil nutrients and structure, and affect tree-roots penetration thus threatens productivity.