KairaCLO gears up for President Jawara’s Centenary Anniversary

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By Fatou Dahaba

To celebrate the legacy of the late former President of the Gambia, the Kairaba Conservation and Leadership Organisation (KairaCLO) updated the media on activities related to Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara’s Centenary Anniversary at the WASCAL conference hall, University of The Gambia, on Tuesday, 23rd April.

Part of their activities is to hold a symposium on Wednesday at Ocean Bay Hotel, Bakau, under the theme ‘Waste Management and Transformation, Opportunities in the Gambia’ to commemorate Sir Dawda’s birth as part of the centenary Anniversary.

Other events include a Televised/Radio Roundtable Discussion on Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara’s 100th anniversary, highlighting his Conservation and leadership Legacy. Ten Trees will be planted in honor of Sir Dawda at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre, the National Assembly, and Sir Dawda’s Atlantic Boulevard Residence.

The organization’s founding members commit to popularizing the  1977 Banjul declaration among people and students nationwide.

The organization also champions Jawara’s conservationist vision that led to the Banjul Declaration almost a century ago. The 1997 declaration makes a unique visionary appeal for preserving the environment and the country’s dwindling flora and fauna. It was regarded as far-sighted and uniquely prophetic, but the realities of climate change today have vindicated Sir Dawda. Since 1977, The Gambia has lost some of its most precious animal and plant species. It will lose even more if conservation measures are not taken now, making the Banjul Declaration more relevant today than forty-six years ago.

KairaCLO seeks to support the conservation and protection of Gambia’s environment by implementing the visionary characteristics of the Banjul Declaration.

 The Economic Commission of West African States (Ecowas) described the Banjul Declaration as one of an African leader’s most significant environmental/conservation pronouncements. The leader had foreseen and warned of a looming climatic catastrophe if mankind did not take corrective action.

The founders of KairaCLO said they believe all Gambians should uphold Jawara’s legacy by – developing and organizing programs to inspire young men and women to embrace the ideals of “Conservation Leadership” and build the foundation for a strong, sustainable socio-economic and progressive society.

In his welcoming remarks, KairaCLO chairperson Almamy Fanding Taal said the organization is comprised of people with exceptional track records who decided to unite to keep Sir Dawda’s legacy alive.

Taal added that the organization is nonpartisan and non-profit, primarily contributing to and participating in conservation efforts nationwide.

“What we want to achieve is to change mindsets in an approach that contributes to development. First, we want to minimize using paper for our activities and discourage plastic use.”

Ramzia Diab-Ghanem, the deputy chairperson of KairaCLO, said Sir Dawda wrote the Banjul declaration in 1977, and what he wrote is what is happening in the environment with global warming.

‘Our  wildlife that was extinct and taking good care of them, we have lost all that to deforestation and other things, that’s why we come together to put our time and energy and continue the legacy of Sir Dawda.’

Professor Sedat Yaffa, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of The Gambia, said Sir Dawda’s vision for the global level in the 1977 Banjul Declaration led to the creation of the United Nations Intergovernmental Committee on Convention and Biological Diversity in 1993.

Bemba Tambedou, Secretary General of KairaCLO, said the organization has two components: conservation and leadership.

In conservation, he said KairaCLO is developing programs and projects that will help protect the Gambia’s failing environment. The country has lost much of its fauna and flora since 1977, and some cannot be replaced.

On leadership components, he said Sir Dawda was an exemplary African leader, and that’s why ECOWAS recognized him and recently awarded him a certificate in Abuja.

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