The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources, Lamin B.Dibba, has warned Gambians about the vulnerability of the country to Climate Change. He urged people to change their attitude in order to mitigate its effects.
“It is left to us.We can make changes if only we are ready to change our attitude,” Minister Dibba told reporters Friday during a press conference jointly organised with the National Environment Agency (NEA), and which was held at his office located along Kairaba avenue.
Over these past decades, human-caused Climate Change has exacerbated the heat waves that continue to plague planet Earth. African countries including The Gambia are confronted with mounting challenges as the severity of Climate Change poses a real threat to the agricultural sector etc.
The Environment Minister said a United Nations team that recently visited the country okayed the efforts being put up by government with a view to protecting the environment.
“They said Gambia has done far more than many underdeveloped countries,” he disclosed with a tone of satisfaction. He then added this prompted the UN team to invite Gambia and Rwanda to co-host a side-event during a forthcoming Climate confab.
Far from relying on these achievements or accolades, Dibba made it clear that Ministry and its subsidiary organs (NEA and Parks and Wildlife) are pushing ahead with a Climate Policy, which was approved by Cabinet in May 2013.
He revealed that plans are in high gear for government to come up with an inter-ministerial Committee with a special focus on Climate Change.
“If rains do not come, there will be poor harvest,” he remarked. “So we must enhance our mitigation and adaptation capacities.”
A recent UN report has made headlines these past weeks as it clearly stated that planet Earth will no longer be livable if nothing is done to reverse the current trend.
Minister Lamin B.Dibba further indicated that in 2016-2017 Gambia got a grant from African Development Bank (ADB) to the tune of $1.5 million dollars to develop a strategic resilience program, which is a ten-year investment geared towards supporting the country’s Climate Change policy.
He announced a $365 million dollars program, involving a local and an international consultants.
He acknowledged the fact they must be innovative in order to tackle environmental problems.
People Thumb Nose At The Plastic Ban
Environment Minister also took another shot on the use of plastic bags despite an existing legislation banning its commercialisation and use.
Since the Barrow administration people came to power, people are repeatedly and flagrantly violating the plastic ban.
An eye-witness who spoke to this reporter under conditions of anonymity said it is an open secret that plastic bags are being smuggled into the country.
He further pointed out that it is now a booming activity and many people are venturing into it in what appeared to be a complete defiance of the law.
When asked whether his ministry is ready to issue an ultimatum against those contravening the law, the environment minister said they have not yet reached that level. But he was quick to add that if anybody is found wanting, he or she will face the full force of the law.
He also expressed their readiness to launch massive sensitisation campaign in order to develop a growing conscience about the dangers of plastic bags.
Similar sentiments were expressed by NEA Executive Director Momodou Jama Suwareh who took the opportunity to highlight the huge challenges they are facing to enforce the plastic bags ban.
The news conference was attended by Information Minister Ebraima Sillah, Government Spokesperson Ebraima G. Sankareh and the Director of information Department Isatou Davies- Ann.