Members of the Select Committee on the Environment (NASCE), are going through a sensitisation on climate resilience with the EbA project, with the objective of building climate resilient communities.
The Deputy Project Manager Muhammed Reroy Gomez, said funding for the EbA project totals US $ 25,521,367 or approximately D1,225,025,616 (one billion, two hundred and twenty five million, five hundred and twenty one thousand, three hundred and sixty-seven dalasi), of which GCF provides a total of US $ 20,546,756, whilst Government will provide counterpart funding equivalent to US $ 4,974,611. Gomez disclosed this to members of the NASCE, and other stakeholders at a one day sensitization meeting at a local hotel.
He said the project duration is six years and beneficiaries are rural Gambian households; that the project targets directly 11,550 beneficiaries (50% of whom are women) and indirectly 46, 200 beneficiaries (50% of whom are also women).
Gomez said the root causes to develop climate-resilience, natural resource based or green economy, are dependency of rural communities on marginal returns from subsistence agriculture and fishing; unsustainable land management practices in the savannah, wetlands and mangroves of the Gambia and widespread poverty and growing population, resulting in increased resource extraction from natural ecosystems.
He indicated that key triggers to the problem are the negative effects of climate change including increase rainfall variability which results to droughts and floods; reduced supply of eco-system goods and services from national eco-systems and agricultural landscapes; and limited financial and technical capacity to adopt alternative or supplementary livelihoods.
Gomez said local communities and major economic sectors remain vulnerable under a changing climate and that the project outcome is to reduce vulnerability of local communities and sectors to Climate Change impacts.
Breaking down the idea behind the project to the National Assembly Select Committee members on the environment, Gomez said the key objective of the project is to develop a sustainable natural resource-base or green economy. He said EbA interventions are to be implemented in agricultural landscapes and degraded ecosystems by providing adaptation and commercial benefits for local communities, government and the private sector.
EbA Programme Manager Lamin Nyangado, said sensitizing the National Assembly Select Committee on the project is important, given the fact that they have the monitoring mandate to execute on all programmes under their mandate. He acknowledged the importance for the National Assembly to have a gist of how the project is being implemented; that the National Assembly is the highest decision making body in the country and the importance of building their capacity on this project cannot be over emphasised.
Bubucarr Zaidi Jallow said Gambia is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change; that climate change is real and one of the issues the Gambia is faced with, is coastal erosion.
Jallow said the main objective of the project is to build resilience on climate change.
Sainey Touray, the Chairperson of the National Assembly Select Committee on the Environment, said the training would help them have a better understanding of the project and how its implementation; that Section 109 mandated their committee to have an oversight programme to create awareness at various communities; that it would be important for them to embark on climate change awareness activities.