Abdoulie Fye, Director of Programmes and Operations at The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) has urged communities to build peace among themselves, within their village and also among their neighboring communities.
Mr. Fye made these remarks at Pieara Tenda, Upper River Region during the conclusion of the peace building fund project.
The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) in partnership with World Food Programme (WPF) through the Peace Building Fund supported ten communities in North Bank, Central River, and Upper River Regions with 600 spades, 300 rakes, 300 cutlasses, 200 watering cans and 50 wheelbarrows as well as planted 45,000 trees.
The trees included mahogany, bantango, lime, moringa, oranges, cashew, gmailiana and mangoes.
The exercise was carried out in partnership with Government institutions such as Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources, Department of Forestry, Integrated Pest Management Directorate under National Agricultural Research Institute and Community Development.
The project dubbed ‘Peace Building Fund Project’ aims at promoting peaceful coexistence among communities in addressing the negating impacts of climate change such as land disputes.
Director Fye said they expect beneficiary communities to nurture and help the plants grow to ensure it brings benefits to them.
He further said that the project reforestation aspect aims to contribute to taking care of the environment as there has been a lot of deforestation over the past years, while the agro forestry aspect aims to encourage the creation of new forests to ensure communities have forests. He highlighted that community forests can bring a lot of benefits to communities.
He observed that land disputes have brought in a lot of conflicts among communities, noting that they are also trying to address it with the communities. He said they want communities to ensure available land is managed without any dispute or conflicts.
Njogou Jeng, Senior Program Associate Disaster Risk Management at World Food Programmme (WFP) said climate change is one of the major factors that is ceasing resource scarcity which is one of the contributing factors to conflict at community level.
He added that with that in mind, the project is important and time sensitive given the fact that it is also providing alternative livelihood means to people in conflict.
MrJeng stated that the support they provided was at the request of communities, adding that they are pleased that communities that had conflict are coming together in peace in the implementation of the project.