Great Green Wall Frontliners are daring to invent new futures for their communities. Here are some of their stories

Great Green Wall Frontliners are daring to invent new futures for their communities. Here are some of their stories


Kemo is founder of Green Up Gambia, a civil society organization dedicated to addressing environmental challenges in the Gambia. “ People like to envision the Great Green Wall just as a physical wall that runs from Senegal down to Djibouti but we see it as a movement. It is a mosaic of different projects that helps us manage our land sustainably and gives us a boost in our income and helps us regain the right livelihood that we are looking for. So, we are looking at the Great Green Wall as an upliftment for the entire African continent.”


“When our landscapes improve and rains begin to fall at the right time, it also helps with our milk harvest from our livestock. It brings other opportunities too - like growth of indigenous grass species which we use to weave local utensils for our households and businesses like this one I’m weaving at intervals while waiting for milk buyers at the market.’’

Moussa SySenegal

Moussa Sy is a cattle breeder in the village of Bobaral. “The desert is coming towards us here in Senegal. Climate change explains this heat we’re experiencing. People of the Sahel are the first line of defence against climate change. The Great Green Wall is a project for our future and everyone must give it their energy and knowledge.”


“The land has been very saturated due to over cultivation and grazing and the impacts of extreme weather conditions. This has been a very big challenge causing low crop production and crop loss especially for us working as small scale farmers. However, we are beginning to notice a visible difference now as we adopt sustainable land management practices encouraged by the Great Green Wall. This is making us realize how some of our previous practices were hurting the land more than healing it.’’


‘My name is Lolly Manjang, I live in Juffureh and I am a gardener. I want a future where my children enjoy more than we can enjoy today. I want them to follow in my footsteps like I followed that of mother to help sustain their families.’


Ali Jafaru is a trader turned farmer in Dauche community, Adamawa: ‘My family and I got displaced from Zamfara by insurgent violence. We got refuge here in Dauche village and people are very welcoming. The landscape is very green with fertile soils and most of the people in this community are farmers. When we lost our home, my hopes were shattered but with now I have dreams of a better future.’


Jaiteh has witnessed yesterday, she is seeing today and looks forward to seeing tomorrow. A farmer living in Kerewan, she told us “I may not have received an education but what I know for sure is: if we invest on planting trees and protecting our environment, the future will be bright.”


Sainabou Panneh is a farmer and also owns a poultry in Fass Chaho. She tells us more about women in her industry “Doing this work is very crucial – it shows that not all the work should be done by men. Women should learn to work so as to take care of themselves and their families.”


Adam Abdullah lives on the edge of the rapidly diminishing Lake Chad on the outskirts of Melea. ‘There used to be water all around here, but I have watched it disappear.’ Adam was forced to move here after Boko Haram militants launched a night- time assault on his ancestral home. ‘Many people died and many houses were destroyed,’ he says.


Amadou Bah is a farmer and the councillor of Medina Manneh, located in Lower Niumi in the North Bank of the Gambia. “If only my children knew what I wish for them every day when I wake up in the morning and ease in at night. We are in a generation where children are forgetting their roots and the ways of the people before them. Education should not stop children from engaging in agriculture. I try to teach them what I know to make sure they can grow what I have started here in the future.”


I am looking forward to what the youth will contribute to the world. With the steps they are taking right now, I see a chance bigger than Chamen, The Gambia and Africa for these children. I see a better chance for them in the universal world. When you are great and you do great things in life, you do it for the world – and this is what I want them to be tomorrow. This is why deep in my heart; I enjoy helping someone to be the future of tomorrow.”