LETTER TO THE EDITOR-ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY INSIDER WARNS THAT A GREEN CLIMATE PROJECT WORTH $20 MILLION RISKED FAILING!

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Dear Pa,

First of all, I would like to inform you that I have been a keen reader of the Freedom from its inception in early 2000 to today. I can attest to your steadfastness in the crusade against the dictatorship and injustice that prevailed in the Gambia during 22 years of Jammeh’s brutal regime. We salute you for your courage to take on Yaya Jammeh. You have contributed immensely to his downfall, but the desired outcome of the struggle is still a fleeting illusion because the system that had sustained the dictatorship is still in place. There is no system change as promised by the coalition and the situation is getting worst especially in the civil service where nepotism, incompetence, indifference to administrative procedures, and many other ills strive.

I want you to share with your readers (Gambians) a story about a very important project being executed by the Ministry of Environment. The project is entitled Ecosystem based Adaptation Project. It is funded by Green Climate Fund at a tune of over $20 million and implemented by UN. The purpose of the project is to build climate-resilience of poor rural Gambians through a series of activities over six years.

The project is a failing one in dire need for life support due to grave incompetence of the project manager and the ministry of environment and climate change. Both the PS of Environment who is the Senior User of project and the project manager are clueless or indifferent to generally acceptable practices of project management. The project is behind in every measure of project management such as schedule, cost, and etcetera.

Pa, as you can see this is a very important project for the Government of The Gambia and it need immediate support. If something is not done soon, the country will lose this great project. The said project was evaluated towards the end of last year by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the said evaluation report/ aide memoir was sent to the Minister of Environment, Lamin Dibba and the former Permanent Secretary, Pateh Jah since December 2018. However, the relevant authorities hid the said mission report because the ministry was adversely mentioned for shirking in its responsibility as the executing agency by ensuring that the project is executed in accordance with project agreements.

The said evaluation report found the Project Manager called Lamin Nyagado as grossly incompetent and clueless to manage the EbA project and that he should be replaced or the project risk being suspended or prematurely terminated. However, to a great surprise, seven months after receiving the said evaluation report from UNEP, Minister Lamin Dibba and the former Permanent Secretary Pateh Jah, for one reason or the other, decided to ignore and refused to implement the main recommendation of the evaluation report among other important issues. Pa, something very funny is going on here.

In its second-year annual work plan and budget, under the very bad leadership of the dictatorial project manager, Lamin Nyagado, the project has made very little headway and a host of activities not executed, delayed and pending. Half of the year is already gone, and project execution is seriously behind schedule.

Pa, there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Something should be done soonest to rectify the status quo or the country will lose funding for this important project from GCF. If the country loses this project it means ultimately the project beneficiaries, who are the rural Gambian households targeting directly will lose the opportunity to better their lives.

The project manager, Lamin Nyagado was once heard bragging that Pateh Jah is his in-law. It is important to note that this same, Lamin Nyagado was previously sacked from Action Aid The Gambia due to incompetence among other issues of concerned. Pa, the officials at the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources and Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs can be contacted to throw more light on the unfortunate status quo.

I will try my best to lay hand on the said evaluation report and share with your readers so they can decide for themselves.

By A Concerned Citizen

Editors note: The views expressed by the author do not represent the position of the Freedom Newspaper.

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