By: Babucarr Fallaboweh
One of the Gambia’s leading rappers, ST, alias Brikama Boyo, is spearheading efforts to green the country through his one million tree planting initiative.
The Initiative is under the ST Foundation Environment Awards through their community development foundation.
The award-winning artist and his team are using the platform to mobilize the community to plant one million trees. One of the reasons the ST foundation came up with this initiative is to encourage young to recognize the important of community work.
“We hope his involvement in environmental activism will inject dynamism and innovation into the movement against climate change in the country,” ST told Alkamba Times.
ST’s one million tree initiative has reached 15 communities and planted more than 10,000 trees.
The iconic artist left the United Kingdom for the Gambia on Wednesday and promised he would engage the school through Trees for prosperity, an initiative of the ST Foundation Environment Awards.
According to the top music star, the idea will avail student volunteers of the ST Environment clubs to participate in tree planting/growing exercises in their schools’ premises, gardens, community spaces, and public squares.
This Initiative aims to complement the one-million trees initiative and inculcate in the students/children a sense of responsible environmental conservation awareness at an early age. The participation will be open to all schools across the country.
ST’s manager Alieu Badra Sowe disclosed to the Alkamba Times that the project is long-term.
“Compared to the number of trees we have in the country, this project will help restore our forest cover and help mitigate climate change. This is like a continuous process. We hope after five years, we will achieve these results and continue. A lifelong work that we embark on working with communities to see trees are planted to ensure that they grow to safety. Planting is one thing but ensuring this tree grows safely is another goal for the foundation.” Badra mentioned
“It is one of the most influential Gambians using his platform to advocate for the environment is very important. We have seen the dynamism he has injected into the fight against climate change. It’s good for other celebrities or influential people in the country to engage in meaningful advocacy, it doesn’t have to be about the environment, road safety, or drug and substance abuse. It’s all about bringing positive and meaningful changes in the community,” Sowe told TAT.
“Everyone should be a champion of the environment because this environment is for us. By acting responsibly towards the environment and one of that ways is to plant trees and make sure you don’t cut trees and ensure our environment is clean. When we have trees, they help a lot, protect our soil cover, help minimize erosion, provide cool oxygen, and purify the air for us. They help with rain also, because without trees there won’t be rain and we have seen how the rain pattern has changed in the Gambia, affecting everyone. We have seen how urbanization is destroying our forests in the Kombo areas. Like people living everywhere, with no proper planning with the authorities.”