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  • Writer's pictureJane Smith

Even during the pandemic NFI continued to support reforestation

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Naturefriends International continue their support of The Gambia and Senegal even though the two year focus on Landscape of the year is over.

With great inspiration they organised a virtual trip 20 January–3 February 2021 inviting people to either relive their experience or join for the first time. Different places were visited every day.

Photo courtesy of Mamadou Mobodj: Vice President of Naturefriends International

As a result of donations to take part,

1000 fruit trees have been planted in both Senegal and The Gambia

Report From:

"Khadija, our ESC volunteer, was one of the virtual tourists of the virtual journey into the “Landscape of the Year” Senegal/The Gambia from 20th January-3rd February 2021 organised by Naturefriends International. She spent two exciting weeks and many experiences and encounters in an interesting region. 108 people from 9 countries were participating in this virtual journey.

Mamadou Mbodji, Deputy Secretary General of Naturefriends Senegal and Ingeborg Pint, Africa expert and long-time tour guide of Naturefriends International (NFI) guided virtual tourists through Senegal and Gambia. Like in the past trips to the Landscape of the Year, coordinators and participants were always supported by board members of the Senegalese Naturefriends and by representatives of the Naturefriends from the region.

Isatou Ceesay, a real power woman, Muhammed Kebbeh, one of our companions, Musa Foon, Mrs. Aja Babung Sidibeh, Omar Jammeh, director of JUST ACT, Isatou Foon, one of the members of JUST ACT, Cheikh Diakhaté, President of Naturefriends Koungheul and regional coordinator of the Landscape of the Year, and other honourable people welcomed us with their interviews, quotations, or kind words and guided us through the virtual tour.

Read a full account here

Read the report on the virtual visit to Janjanbureh and surrounding area

'Travellers' passed through the lively historically important town of Rufisque and many villages until Kaolack, the centre of peanut cultivation and Salt marshes near Fatick, the northern bank of the Gambia River. Island in the Gambia River where Janjanbureh is located (Janjanbureh is a large village (about 3,700 inhabitants), everything is within walking distance), the Gambian center of the Landscape of the Year. On the way towards Janjanbureh they visited the “Women’s Initiative Gambia“ in Njaw, afterwards checked in at Baobolong Camp.

Virtual travellers continued towards the Kankurang Centre next to the Kankurang Festival square, after it reached the Triangle Park with the Freedom Tree, where the history of Janjanbureh was briefly shown on information boards. There was the afternoon hike for virtual travellers, on a route of the „Baobab River Hiking Trails“ project, which was initiated by the German Naturefriend Gernot Henn.

'Travellers' visited Yorobelekunda, where fruit trees had been planted with the local people in 2020. Next item on the programme was a visit to the Kunkilling Forest Park, located on the southern bank of the Gambia River, about 5 km upstream from Janjanbureh. Here virtual travellers hike to the banks of the Gambia River. Afterwards, they went back to the northern shore of the Gambia River and on to Wassu, Kuntaur and River Gambia National Park, 40 kilometres downstream from Janjanbureh.

This is all part of the determination to help mitigate the devastating effect of climate change and also provide valuable resources for the villages.

Photo courtesy of Mamadou Mbodj

Mamadou Mbodji reports here of the visit

On 6 July, Gambian women were in the spotlight.

From Njau to Lebba via Kofa, the women's groups coordinated by Isatu Cisse of Women Initiative Gambia, were strongly mobilised for the success of this reforestation.

After having carefully followed the planting techniques, they each committed to planting and monitoring the progress of their plants.

In Njau, the college, the health post, the police station and the agriculture department have received their quota and promise to follow up regularly.

JUST ACT are deeply appreciative of their membership of Naturefriends International

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