Community Meetings in the 8 Villages Adjacent to the DFP

July 16, 2021

Activity Report

Community Meetings in the 8 Villages Adjacent to the DFP

Date:     10th. To 17th. June, 2021

The activity was a subsequent follow-up recommendation of the meeting of the district meeting at the compound of the chief where the DFP Committee agreed that the same information about the project, objectives, project implementation strategies and activities to be held in the eight villages adjacent to the park during the project phase of one year.  To that effect, the Chair Person of the committee agreed to be with 4H The Gambia and Forestry Field staff to all the eight villages.  A plan of action was developed jointly (The PM, 4H Field Staff and the District Forestry Staff) thus:

Schedule of Village Meetings (Sensitization)

#

Date

Village

Comments

1

10/6/2021

Dobo

Death of the Alkalo of the village hence shift in the schedule

2

11/6/2021

Keur Sheikh Taal

3

12/6/2021

Keur Pateh

4

13/06/2021

Keur Nghata Wollof

5

14/06/2021

Keur Nghata Fulla

6

15/06/2021

Chamen

7

16/06/2021

Maida Modi

8

17/06/2021

Ndouren

 


Despite the fact that above schedule of activities was agreed with the district SLMC members, however that changed slightly after the death of the Alkalo of Dobo on the scheduled day of visit to the village.  Strategically, to continue making the process participatory, calls were made the all the villages, discuss with their SLMC representatives of most appropriate days for visit to their village.   This was deemed important as e.g. in the case of Keur Pateh, the people agreed on all days except for Wednesday as this day weekly is the communities’ weekly loumo (Market) hence it would not be appropriate to have a meeting on the said day. 
Table below show the revised schedule of village meetings:

Revised Schedule of Village Meetings (Sensitization)

#

Date

Village

Comments

1

10/6/2021

Ndouren

 

2

11/6/2021

Chamen

3

12/6/2021

Keur Nghata Wollof

4

13/6/2021

Keur Nghata Fulla (Sare Banno / Keur Banno

5

14/6/2021

Sheikh Taal

6

15/6/2021

Keur Pateh

7

16/6/2021

Dobo

The team visited the family of deceased to pay  condolence

8

17/6/2021

Maida Modi

 

 
Community meetings witnessed the team introducing the project and held discussions on the following themes:
Project Concept and Marketing for Funding
Project Funding and Magnitude
Objectives of the Project
Implementation Strategy
Activities of the Project
The following main Activities were made mention of about the project:
Fence the forest park 
Train communities in management of the forest
Train 8 youths in nursery management
Develop and make communities to sign community 
Resource Management Agreement CRMA
Dig a borehole and 4 reservoirs for water supply in the park
Intended Realizations (Outcomes) of the Project
The following outcomes as contained in the project document were shared with communities’ members:
1) 1000 DFP Area Fenced and Protected With Gates Along the Periphery
Communities’ committees established to monitor and protect entry of people and cattle with ruminants into the park.  Every entry into the park would be monitored by a community committee.
2) 8 communities surrounding Dobo forest park empowered to manage the forest park:  
Two key capacity building exercises are key in this project thus:
Technical Capacities: Nursery raising, nursery care and protection, transplanting, care and protection of transplanted seedlings, etc. culminating with abilities to trouble shoot emergencies of pests and diseases amongst others
3) A borehole dug and community nurseries established in the forest park
This is with the expectation that the borehole will provide water to distant reservoirs for watering of the planted seedlings away from the borehole.  Equally, the central nursery will have adequate water to raise the nursery with no problem of access to water.
4) At least 30,000 of assorted tree species
These tree species will propagated and planted in the forest park. Notwithstanding, of these 30,000 seedlings, some will be shared with nursery attendants and communities’ members such that they can equally think of having their own tree orchards and or woodlots.  
Communities’ members were informed of the above intended outcomes with their maximum and unreserved participation as contained in the project implementation strategy.  In this regards, communities members after being informed of the intended outcomes, they were amazed and equally raised their concerns over issues that were considered important.  Amongst others, major concerns were about the following issue:
  • Cattle tracks leading entry into DFP
  • People’s entry and exit to the DFP after being fenced round
To that effect in response, communities’ members were informed that the gates to be fitted along the fence will ensure to be within cattle tracks.  In addition, herders who get into the park with their cattle will be monitored by the adjacent village forest park committee and hence open the gate for them.  This is important to note as it will be a mechanism for communities to be aware of the movement of people, cattle and ruminants in and out of the park.  Should there occur any damage to seedlings or trees in the park, communities’ committees will know of who to hold responsible.
What Have We Done Since
It was quite evident that 4H The Gambia did not take long to start the implementation of the activities.  The project started in May after the signing with the GCCA+.  Project activities started with the recruitment of staff for the project in the first month including regularizing some logistical issues in the support of ease of implementation of project activities.  Field activities started in June with the following activities:
Meeting with the Regional Governor and District Chief
Conduct of Measuring of DFP Coordinates to determine the periphery of the park
Meeting with SLMC District Committee at Compound of Chief
Held feedback session of agreements to the district chief
Conduct SLMC Meeting with the Technical Advisory Committee (Selected Members of TAC forming the Regional SLMC)
Having these activities done was a pacesetter such that beneficiaries will not feel that they are excluded into project rather, they will included and would more than will to express ownership of the project implementation.  These exercises were more of confidence building with communities members, district authorities and regional levels including the office of the Regional Governor and all other relevant regional departments such as the Department of Forestry, Water Resources, Livestock, Parks and Wild Life, Community Development, to name a few.
What Did We Do So Far Since Start of The Project
Establish Map of the Dobo Forest Park Based on Coordinates as Determined by PM, 4H Finance Officer, 4H Field Staff and; Department of Forestry Field Officer for Central Badibu during a field visit to the site using GPS
Outcome of Field Visit
1. Area of the DFP – 534ha.
2. Periphery – 9.6km.
3. 4 Cattle Tracks leading into the DFP
Meetings Held
One meeting held with DFP Management Committee at the Chief’s compound in Njaba Kunda
Conducted 8 Community Sensitization meetings with the 8 communities that are directly adjacent to the DFP