"Adopt a Village" - The Gambia

"Adopt a village" is a project developed by ASPnet in The Gambia. It is pioneered by Mr Yahya Al-Matarr Jobe, the ASPnet National Coordinator, and Mr Paul G. Addae, the National Secretary of the Gambia ASPnet, in order to raise and foster the interest of teachers, students, youth and elderly people in climate and environmental changes due to human or anthropogenic activities in their communities.

The vision of the project is to change the behaviour of the adults, youth, students and teachers in especially village communities to realize the drastic changes of climatic conditions and the need to sustain the environment and adapt to such changes. Like the Sandwatch project, this project seeks to foster environmental awareness in non-coastal communities as they are equally affected with environmental problems like sand and gravel mining, deforestation, bush burning, hunting, etc.

The approach of the "Adopt a Village" project also seeks to foster understanding among schools and local communities through sensitization on how to preserve and converse natural resources so as to avoid hazardous environmental problems like rising temperatures, unhealthy conditions, etc.

The specific objectives of the project are:
1. To reduce or end human or anthropogenic activities which promote climatic changes in the village
2. To encourage teachers, students and groups in the village to use information obtained in their studies of the village to wisely manage and enhance their environment
3. To involve teachers, students, groups and opinion leaders in the village to observe and analyze the environment for sustainability and adaptability

The environmental issues for consideration in this project are: sand mining, bush burning/fires, tree felling and waste management.

The project will focus on knowing the consequences of such environmental hazards and generating possible solutions to mitigate the rate of environmental destruction by human beings through continuous observation and monitoring.