By Ousainou J. Sawaneh (Prince Ojee)
Executive Director of Action-Aid International The Gambia, Omar BADJI has said that Action-Aid as an organization shares a common vision of eradicating poverty and injustice in this “country”.
Director BADJI added that Action-Aid believes that economic independence of women is fundamental in their empowerment process while saying that it can also build their confidence to take up key decision-making positions including participation in political processes.
BADJI was speaking at the handing over of cash support to European Union Funded Project for Poultry and Small Ruminants Farmers with the title “Promoting Agro-ecology and eco-restoration practice in southern Central River and North Bank Regions of The Gambia”
Action-Aid ED further said strengthening economic position of farmers, especially women and youth, is at the heart of the work of Action-Aid globally.
He added that the support will help the beneficiaries to build their resilience and enhance their adaptation and coping capacities, which he said will assure people that they can make it in The Gambia.
Mr. BADJI highlighted the two key development challenges that prompted ActionAid to approach the EU with a proposal for funding. He said these among them is climate change which impacts negatively on people in many aspects, adding that the second is migration where most of our Gambian youths are taking to the “Backway to Europe” he said.
He reiterated that the project has therefore been designed to increase employment in the rural areas and enhance the ability of smallholder farmers to adapt to the changing climate with a view to contribute to the reduction of migration.
According to him these two phenomena, climate change and migration, must be properly managed otherwise together they will have far reaching negative consequences on the national development process.
Giving the overall objective of the project, Mr. BADJI said its aims to create job opportunities and food security for women and youth through agro-ecology and resilience building to mitigate against irregular migration.
He said one of the objectives is to strengthen the adaptation capabilities of women and youth and their organizations to be able to withstand shocks and impact of climate change through climate resilient sustainable agriculture (CRSA).
BADJI thanked the Ministry of Agriculture for their willingness to always provide needed support to facilitate poverty eradication work in The Gambia. “without the support of the MoA it would have been extremely difficult to get to where we are today in terms of achievement” he said
He finally took the opportunity to thank most profoundly, the EU for providing the much-needed funds to do the work, “we have no doubt that the funds will change lives and livelihoods in a positive way and the support will go long way in helping us to attain our long-term strategic goals” he assured.