By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya
Climate Change is not just a global threat but also a national threat that is set to be affecting many sectors if not collectively addressed. Bearing this in mind, Northern rural women in Fadugu in the Ward 160 Constituency 47 with their Mabohinande organization has realized that planting economic trees in their communities will not only help them economically but will also help to mitigate the impact of Climate Change in the country.
Councilor Ballay in Ward 160 Constituency 47 is dedicated in ensuring that other women like her in the Northern province engage in planting the economic trees within their localities. In a vast community land in Fadugu, the Mabohinande group had planted many Morvighor and cashew trees. “At first, as group consisting women who love farming, we were engaged in planting rice and groundnut here but I have to convince the other women that there is a Morvighor serving as medicinal and cashew trees which we must plant here in other to help the community and save the environment” Madam Ballay said.
The Northern province especially in Kambia District is well known for deforestation. Madam Bally said for years they have been informing and educating people about the dangers of cutting down the trees for logging but such advices had never been adhered to by the people. During the dry season, community Women in Kasonko here in Fadugu suffer from safe drinking water and the children cannot go to school especially when there is a secret society playing as they may be required to walk a very long distance to fetch water.
She said one of the women had informed her that the Morvighor tree is very good and can be used as food supplement when dried and salt applied into the leaves. Another reason why the Mabohinande Women group in Fadugu decided to plant the economic trees is the medicinal value of the Morvighor tree which is said to cure ulcer.
The project to plant the economic trees across the country is supported by the Global Environment Facility through the United Nations Development Programme and implemented by the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone.
During a one week mission with the aim of visiting these projects across the country, the delegation from the Environment Protection Agency headed by Abdul Bah was plain in informing the community people to put more seriousness in their project and ensure they continue to plant more trees in their various communities. Mr. Bah encouraged the women in Fadugu, Petifu in the Tonkolili District, the project implemented by Cotton Tree Foundation in Port Loko and other small grants projects in Kono, Bo and Kailahun that keeping the environment safe does not only lies on the hands of the Environment Protection Agency but is the responsibility of every Sierra Leonean in the country. He informed them to ease the opportunities given to them by ensuring that their projects become successful as there are more projects to be supported by the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Programme through their small grant projects.
Mr. Bah informed the community people the important of planting trees as well as encouraged them to practice upland rice farming. The issue of bush fire and logging and charcoal burning was also reechoed to the farmers and Madam Ballay said that is the main reason why they planted the trees along swampy areas in Fadugu.
Madam Elizabeth Abie Kamara in Petifu thanked the Environment Protection Agency and partners for the support given to them and further requested for more support from them as they have many Chiefdoms they want to include in their projects especially when they wants to add rain water harvesting in their project. Petifu Women group has about six hectares of land in their community comprising animal farm and rice plantation.