British High Commissioner disburses over D500,000 to communities in WR
Thursday, March 05, 2009
The British High Commissioner to The Gambia, Phil Sinkinson, yesterday disbursed cheques amounting to 14,000 pound sterling (equivalent to five hundred and twenty thousands dalasis) to three community-based groups in Western Region, at a ceremony held at the Fayunku Women’s Vegetable Garden in Gunjur, Kombo South.
The beneficiaries included Fayunku Women Vegetable Garden in Gunjur, under the supervision of the Trust Agency for Rural Development (TARUD); The Gambia is Good (GIG) and St Joseph Family Farm Centre (SJFFC). Fayunku Women Vegetable Garden in Gunjur and St Joseph Family Farm Centre each received 5000 pound sterling while Gambia Is Good received 4000 pound sterling respectively.
The funds which is from the British High Commission Bilateral Programme Budget, is used to complement the other works of the British High Commission’s undertakings in The Gambia. Speaking at the ceremony, High Commissioner Sinkinson, revealed that more than 1.3 million dalasis will be spent from this programme by the British High Commission in The Gambia within 2008/9, adding that the three projects are closely linked around the theme of innovative technology and production techniques, supporting their own objectives of sustainable development and a low carbon economy.
“Over two hundred and twelve vegetable growers will be trained in marketing, production and management. As a result of this project, the food security and economic empowerment of women gardeners in Gunjur will be improved,” he said. The British diplomat further pointed out that The Gambia is Good (GIG), which is a pro-poor fresh produce marketing company established in 2004, managed by Concern Universal, will use the funds to promote ecologically sound production techniques and increase the capacity of Gambian farmers to fullfill local demand for horticultural products.
“The project aims to increase production through the use of compost, green manure and organic fertilizers. It will also set up biogas system, recycling vegetable waste into gas for cooking to serve as an alternative for wood burning stove and act against climate change,” he emphasised.
For that of Saint Joseph Family Farm Centre, High Commissoner Sinkinson said the purpose of this particular project funded by BPB, is to promote energy-saving cooking stoves. “Twenty youths both male and female, will be training cooking stove production and maintenance techniques. 400 samples of energy-saving cooking stove will be produced for use in 40 communities,” he added.
Patricia Wall, the country director, Concern Universal for both The Gambia and Senegal, said these groups receiving assistance from the British High Commission, are involved in various community works which are crucial to our development .She therefore thanked the British High Commission for the gesture.
Sandang Bojang, the programme director for the Trust Agency for Rural Development (TARUD) said the Gunjur Women’s Garden was founded in 1990 by the women of Gunjur under the dynamic leadership of Nyansimba Aji Mai Kebbeh. According to him, since the inception of the garden, it is under the supervision of TARUD which has been providing horticultural supervision. He equally saluted the British High Commission through Concern Universal for their assistance, describing it as generous.
Marchel Badjie of St Joseph Family Farm Center, Aja Jara Darboe of the Gunjur Women’s Vegetable Garden and Alhagie Darboe from The Gambia Is Good, all assured that the funds will be put to good use.
Author: by Sheriff Janko