Erosion Control Farming Best practices training:
This is to equip farmers on farming best practices to check upland erosion activities caused by water runoff. This is normally accelerated by farming techniques adopted by some farmers. Like the nursery management training, the project intervention spread across the Gambian boarder into Casamance. This promoted the formation of a cross boarder group to enable them engage a multi prong approach to the environmental problem they have in common. It is hoped that this initiative will further strengthen relationship within the boarder villages and also enable them to organize joint fund raising activities to address their problems in a collective manner.
Conduct planting exercise along the shelter:
A total of 30235 seedlings raised at the FFHC tree resource nursery was transplanted at the project site. The seedlings comprise of Casia sermia, Mangoes, Smelling, Kaya Senegalensis (Jalo) and Cashew. The areas transplanted are basically the watershed area and other erosion prone areas where erosion control structures such as the Gabion are constructed. This activity has immensely cemented the social cohesion of the people and it is envisaged that like the previous seasons transplanting, the seedlings will make significant contribution in the restoration of the forest cover within the watershed area.
Community training on forest conservation techniques:
The purpose of this training is to equip the beneficiaries with relevant knowledge and skills in tree nursery raising, management and transplanting as part of the project sustainability plan. The training which lasted three days was highly practical and involved 50 participants from the communities of Sare Biran, Sumbundu, Sare Musa, Sare Saidy, Fonkoi Kunda, Misera, Madina Fonkoi and Kohel. The training was also attended by the communities of Seno Franceh and Sinchu seno. These are communities in Casamance which share the same watershed and also have a stake in the rehabilitation process. The training increased the knowledge and skills of the participants and motivate to appreciate tree planting within the environment and their homes. They requested that they be supported with seedlings particularly the Eucalyptus to transplant them in their upland farms as farm boarders and wind breaks. FFHC promised that it will raise Eucalyptus seedlings in 2015 for this purpose.
A perimeter of 1255 meters was cleared as a fire belt around the watershed to provide a protection for the plants from the bush fires. The area cleared is about 4 meters wide. In addition, the community authority and the VOID has enacted laws to protect the area and that violating that law attracts some form of penalty. In addition, anybody caught will be exposed and reported to the district authority for action. However, the community is determined to mobilise the inhabitants to quench any fires approaching the shed. The source of any external fires from neighboring villages will be investigated and reported to the right authorities fro action.
Sand deposit excavation:
The purpose of this activity is to reduce the soil deposit within the watershed to enable the women use the area for rice cultivation.This was as a result of the high velocity water erosion coming from the upland fields and In consultation with the village and the council, FFHC was free to adopt any intervention that will enable it excavate the soil deposit within the watershed. A total of 5 trucks with the participation of the youths were able to evacuate 10 trips each. The excavation has to an extent reduce the soil deposit in the field and thus enabling the women use 10 hectares of land to cultivate upland rice.
Causeway and bridge construction:
Maintenance work on the foot bridge and 100 meters of causeway was was done in the rice field in Soma and Toniataba The purpose of this intervention is to create safe and reliable access to rice fields by women farmers. It will equally ease the transportation of inputs to the fields and harvest from the fields through the use of animal drawn carts.
Bush Fire Campaign (2014):
This was confined within the watershed catchments communities of Sumbundu, Sare Biran, Sare Musa and Misera. The activity was done in collaboration with The staff of the department of Forestry. A public address system was used to bring out the audiences, The topics discussed include the causes and consequences of bush fires and the position of Government on the penalties attached to culprits of bush fires.
Baby Waiting Shed construction
Women are the food growers in the community. They are engaged in almost every aspect of food production particularly vegetables. Despite the difficulty they encounter coupled with their domestic chores, their male counterparts leave them to go with their suckling ones to their workplaces as well. When they are in the gardens, rice fields or even banana fields, their children are exposed to risks of reptiles and the not burning sun. Whenever are left at home, the care they need from their baby sitters is inadequate. As a result, the construction of a baby waiting shed to bring them closer to their mummies as they work in the fields will go along way in improving their health and parental affection. It is against this background that the baby waiting shed is contracted and will be ready by the next reporting period Suckling mothers will be happy to go with their young ones to the farms with peace of mind as they work and the children taken care of by their baby sitters and can easily be taken to the mother for suckling and care as and when the need arises. The proposed building which measures 4 meters x 5 meters will be constructed at the field very close to their place of work.
Climate change is a worldwide concern and should be treated as a worldwide issue.