By Yunus S Saliu
European Research Institute (ERI) in partnership with Makasutu Wildlife Trust (MWT) and Sahel Wetland Concern (SWC), on Wednesday, 21st December 2022 kicked off a weeklong training for the coastal observer network volunteers for Tendaba and Bomako cells at Lower River Region (LRR).
The weeklong training started on 21st and ended on the 25th of December in Tendaba, the training was two-fold – theory-oriented and practice-oriented parts based on the updated training modules for the River Gambia Coastal Ecosystem Monitoring. The volunteers were the established community-based Coastal Observer Network members the two cells established at the villages of Tendaba and Bomako in Kiang Central and Tendaba, Lower River Region (LRR).
Addressing the volunteers, the Country Coordinator for the European Research Institute (ERI), Samba Jawo, informed them of the importance ERI attaches to the training and other activities of the Coastal Observer Network for Monitory the Effects of Climate Change along The Gambia River.
He disclosed that the module is divided into three parts which include the background of the Coastal Observer Network for Monitory the Effects of Climate Change along The Gambia River (CONNECTING); the monitoring training program, and specific assessments.
He said the CONNECTING project as part of its aims established a community-based Coastal Observer Network to enhance the monitoring of the sheltered coast along the Gambia River and consequently benefit coastal communities and help them to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The Country Coordinator disclosed that the training was meant to fully empower them to focus on the monitoring of the established coastal cells along the Gambia River, providing guidelines on data collection and transmission.
He emphasized that the training is very important “because the program includes a theory-oriented part and a practice-oriented part, and will build on the findings of the research conducted by the local team of researchers and will last approximately one month.”
He notified them that after the training, participants will be assigned to specific coastal cells and will start the monitoring test phase, which includes data collection testing and data transmission testing to be supported by experts.
Kuru Lamin Kongira, the training coordinator welcomed volunteers to the training and disclosed that the Coastal Observer Network for Monitory the Effects of Climate Change along The Gambia River (CONNECTING) is co-sponsored by the NAOSU – National Authorising Officer Support Unit, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, The Gambia, while it is implemented by the European Research Institute (ERI) in partnership with the Makasutu Wildlife Trust (MWT) and Sahel Wetland Concern (SWC).
He reminded them of the objectives of the manual saying it is meant to guide the program about work package 3 (WP3).
He added that the activities involve at least two community-based organizations and 24 adult citizens, 12 men and 12 women.
However, the training was delivered by the consultants, Jatto Sillah, Alpha Jallow, and Lamin Komma, Program Manager and Head of the Coastal and Marine Environment Program at the National Environment Agency (NEA)