The West African Birds Study Association (WABSA) and Nature Community Development (NCD) in collaboration with Medina Kanuma community recently embarked on a cleansing campaign and maintenance of natural sites polluted by waste disposal within the mangrove ecosystem in the trans boundary mangrove ecosystem in Niumi National Park around Medina Kanuma wetland area.
Alhagie Nyang, Alkalo of Medina Kanuma village described the cleansing exercise as an important event, adding that cleaning mangrove ecosystem does save fish from being polluted.
“Fish breeds within the mangrove habitats, so it is important to clean the mangrove ecosystem as most of the waste disposal ends up in the wetland area which can cause future health consequences and biodiversity loss particularly the fish stock,” Alkalo Nyang explained.
Jerre Jatta, youth leader of Medina Kanuma village said his community gets their daily survival from the river, thus if polluted can affect the entire community and Lower Niumi District communities in general.
Fagimba Camara, Head of Research Unit of West African Bird Study Association (WABSA) who coordinated, said the exercise would give protection to mangrove diversity and fragile ecosystems within one of The Gambia’s finest national parks (Niumi National Park).
According to Mr. Camara, when mangrove forests are cleared, they release massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere thus contributing to reducing climate change.
“Mangroves provide essential habitat for thousands of species. They also stabilise shorelines, prevent erosion and protect the land and people who live around the waves and storms,” Mr. Camara explained.
He appealed to the community of Medina Kanuma and communities who share Niumi National Park to continue partaking in cleansing exercise at the area.