Sana Singhateh, known by his stage name as St Brikama Boyo, is one of the top selling recording artists in the Gambia. He has now turned his attention to mitigating the impact of climate change.
Through his ST foundation, he has committed to planting one million trees across the Gambia within the next five years.
ST said he is motivated to continue advocacy through music and other initiatives because the world can only be better if everyone fights for the benefit all.
“When you have a platform that others are not [lucky enough] to have because of your career or influence, I believe you should use it positively to impact every life,” he said.
“I was thrilled when we had the first tree planting. The number of people that showed up demonstrates that whether I hold a music show or other activity, my fans will always support me. That is why I’m putting more energy into climate change advocacy because it is affecting all of us.”
Climate resistance and farming
ST is also working with women farmers to look into farming plants and crops that are climate resistant. One of the women groups he is working with is the Mung Nyinii Farm in Kafuta.
These women are now changing from planting vegetables to planting tree seedlings.
Mama Gassama one of the farmers in Kafuta village said that over the past five years they have been studying the impact of climate change on crops and they have now shifted to a more sustainable farming model.
“One of the experiences we had as a direct impact of climate change is drought. When this happens, some of our crops like vegetables die because there is not enough water. What we have done is to look at a sustainable way to produce vegetables. This is done though the tree nursery project where we plant seedlings like moringa, black locust, and oranges and then sell this seedling to partners like ST foundation and others.”
Climate Impact and actions
Advocacy groups in the Gambia are joining forces to call for action against climate injustice. They recently came together to form the Gambia environmental alliance, a union of civil societies and community-based organisations to restore and protect the environment.
Maimuna Jabbi of Green-up Gambia said they have succeeded in pushing the government and other stakeholders to put together actions despite the challenges.
”What we are seeing around the world is climate injustice. Those that are doing most damage to the environment are seeing less impact. Africa, we produces least than 10 percent of global climate emissions and yet we are the most impacted,” she said.
Climate Change expert Assan Dukureh said that although the Gambia is on track in mitigate climate change by meeting the Paris Climate accords, more efforts and actions are needed.