To deliver a climate-resilient coastal and marine zone project for The Gambia, the European Union-funded Global Climate Change Alliance Plus Initiative (GCCA+) has awarded €100,000 to the UK-based international NGO, WasteAid, which specialized in waste management and recycling skills around the world.
The 12-month project will reduce pressure on the Kanifing municipality dumpsite by collecting food waste from markets and transferring it to women’s gardens. WasteAid works in partnership with Kanifing Municipal Council to set up food waste collection from markets and transport the material to women’s gardens. Then WasteAid’s long-term local partner, Women’s Initiative The Gambia, will train the women gardeners to make compost, biochar, and charcoal briquettes.
Waste management has become a concern to communities living within the coastal zone. The increasing socio-economic and demographic pressure on the coastal area of the Gambia has aggravated the problem. As a result, improper waste disposal practices have become a threat to public and environmental health.
By diverting biodegradable waste from Bakoteh dumpsite and using it to enhance agricultural practices, this project will contribute to a green economy and provide inclusive opportunities, particularly for women.
Mayor Bensouda of Kanifing Municipal Council commented: “Creating new pathways for sustainable resource management will accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. By diverting biodegradable waste from Bakoteh dumpsite and using it to enhance agricultural practices, this project will contribute to a green economy and provide inclusive opportunities, particularly for women.”
Angela McDermott, WasteAid Head of Programmes and Impact, added: “This project will raise awareness and understanding among market vendors, residents, and women gardeners of the value in biodegradable waste. By making soil amendments and sustainable cooking fuel, the women gardeners will benefit from improved livelihoods while protecting climate-vulnerable soils and reducing pressure on local forests for firewood.”
Composting food waste will return nutrients to the soil and improve water retention, and the production of biochar is emerging as an impactful approach to carbon sequestration. Charcoal briquettes, made from woody waste, including groundnut (peanut) and coconut shells, offer a low-smoke sustainable cooking fuel alternative to timber and charcoal sourced the fragile Casamance forest.