Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The National Environmental Agency (NEA) held its annual quiz competition at their main office in kanifing Tuesday 19th January. The competition, which was organised by the Ozone Unit of the NEA brought together ten Lower Basic Schools.
The competition was aim at bringing together various schools and sensitise them on how to protect the environment, as they are the future leaders of The Gambia.
Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Forestry and the Eenvironment said 16th September of every year is observed as World Ozone Day. He noted that the Ozone Units of the NEA in observance of the Day has organised a series of activities among which are radio and television programmes.
According to him, the ozone layer is a thin of gas found in the troposphere and the stratosphere, respectively. It protects life on earth from ultraviolet B radiation, which is emitted by the sun. He said the depletion of the ozone layer is very harmful to all important gases and living creatures will be vulnerable to its negative consequences.
"For the human population, we can develop skin cancer due to our exposure to ultraviolet B radiation and our immune system is suppressed rendering our antibodies to fight against incoming illnesses. We can also develop eye cataract and this eventually lead to blindness," he said of the effects of the depletion of the ozone layer.
On the importance of the ozone layer, he said that it does not only protects life on earth from ultraviolet B radiation but also absorbs heat generated from within the earth in the form of burning fossil fuel. "These environment hazards affects us all regardless of our location on the globe, so the protection and preservation of the ozone layer and the environment in general is a global responsibility," he stressed.
Speaking on behalf of the Director of Technical Services Network, Ndey Bakurin said that the young people are the future and they have a significant impact on how our future unfolds. Without a sound environment it will be much harder to reduce poverty, improve health, fight climate change (ozone depletion) and create a brighter future for all. "This is why the environment needs young champions like you. As you are going to inherit our legacy, something needs to be done," he noted.
She siad that the NEA will make sure that youths and children in the country participate in their work as their contribution is important. We must realise that environmental protection is not only the duty of the government, people living in the country have to take an active role in the protection of the environment.
Out of the ten schools that took part in the quiz competition, Talinding Lower Basic and Old Jeshwang Lower Basic emerged first with equal marks and where awarded D2500 each. Sotokoi Lower Basic School came out third and received D1000. Other participants where given consolation prizes as well, while the best essay writers where awarded prizes from various schools. VOL:2 ISSN:43