By Fatou Dahaba
The EU-funded project, “Planting Trees to Save Banjul,” on Saturday, 5th August 2023, gathered the Banjul youth and planted over one thousand trees to save the capital city below sea rise.
The Initiative was launched in August 2020 and has since made remarkable progress in its mission to enhance the beauty and environmental sustainability of the beloved city.
Considerable strides have been made in its tree-planting efforts. To date, around 3500 coconut trees have been planted around the beachside in Banjul, and there are more ambitious plans to add 1000 more coconut trees to this, which is already at an advanced stage.
The project is also introducing 1000 other varieties of trees, such as Moringa, Silk Cotton tree, Baobab, and Casuarina, to enrich the coastal landscape further.
Annette Camara, Communication Officer City Link Ostend- Banjul Project, said the reason behind the tree planting is that Banjul is below sea level rise, and global warming and climate change are realities that cannot be ignored.
For them, the only way they can beat the heat and fight global warming, and protect the coastal land is by planting, protecting, and preserving trees.
“The greening component of Banjul does not only look at tree planting on the beach, but it also looks at tree planting within the inner city and mangrove trees in the Tanbi wetland. We have planted 10 000 mangroves in two sets at Tanbi Wetland in Banjul. Nonetheless, we have also planted 300 trees within the corridors of Banjul.”
Mrs. Camara further stated that on today’s exercise, they had planted 3 500 trees, and they intend to continue with another 5000 coconut trees in different pieces, including Casuarina and moringa.
On the project’s sustainability, she said the project’s dedication to sustainability extends beyond mere planting, and various steps have been taken to ensure the long-term well-being of these trees and the community.
‘What sets our project apart, however, is our focus on ensuring the longevity and success of this endeavor. Our diligent gardeners water the trees daily and provide care to nurture their growth. Our vigilant security team conducts 24/7 patrols to safeguard the plants and ensure the beach remains secure. We actively engage in regular weekly and bi-monthly cleaning exercises, promoting a pristine and hygienic environment for all.”
The Deputy Mayor of Banjul City Council, Abdou Aziz Dabakh Gaye, said the importance of tree planting could not be over empathize, commending the organizers for the laudable Initiative.
The field supervisor for cleaning Banjul, Mbuguma Ismaila Jeng, said the tree planting would protect against sand erosion and help mitigate the sea level rise.
He also stressed street animals destroying the trees while calling on people to see the trees as their own and protect them.
Some key initiatives implemented under the project include Water Conservation Measures and ensuring trees receive adequate hydration. The project has provided six water tanks to maintain low water pressure from the taps, making water utilization more efficient.