afrol News, 29 May - The Organisation for the Development of the Gambia River Basin (OMVG) has been granted a credit of US$ 15 million to to finance the management and development of natural resource in areas located on the borders of the four member States (Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal).
The African Development Bank (ADB) today in a statement announced it had signed an agreement for a loan of approximately US$ 15 million to the OMVG with the finance ministers of the four states. The Bank had approved the loan almost one year ago, though.
The projects objective was to increase agro-forestry and pastoral output, rationalise the use of natural resources and improve social infrastructure in the project area, according to ADB.
- The project will seek to train 7,100 farmers in the use of new techniques and so that they can organise themselves in associations and establish associative and self-management credit systems in the form of village savings and credit funds. According to the Bank, this project is further to involve the management of 16,000 ha of developed forest and village land as well as the development of 4,450 ha of plains and marshlands to be used for growing rice and vegetable crops.
One of the main aims of the project is to "help reduce poverty and improve the living conditions of the populations in its area of intervention by ensuring easier access to drinking water and through the rehabilitation and the construction of feeder roads," ADB says. Over 5,000 persons were to benifit directly from the project, according to estimations.
Furthermore, the development of the resources of the River Gambia, Kayanga/Géba and Koliba/Corubal would "contribute to the main objective of OMVG, which aims to promote socio-economic integration of its members States."
The Gambia River Basin OMVG came into existence after a development agreement between The Gambia and Senegal was signed in 1965, shortly after Gambian independence. Guinea and Guinea-Bissau joined the OMVG agreement later. River Gambia has its springs in the Guinean highlands, passes through Senegal and is the lifeline of the narrow Gambian vedge into Senegal.
OMVG has mainly dealt with socio-economic and environmental questions, including joint development projects in relation to the river. The latter includes a plan to salinity barrage to increase rice production by irrigating double-cropped rice.