About Sainey!

He is from the Gambia, West Africa. He is 24 and is a climate activist. He started getting involved in climate activism about 3 years ago. A search for knowledge led him to documentaries through which he discovered climate change, but more specifically, the role of fossil fuels in it. This marked the beginning of his advocacy.

Some of the environmental campaigns that are close to Sainey’s heart include: Save Nairobi National Park campaign, Climate strikes, School and community outreach climate education programs and Trees and mangrove planting campaigns.

Sainey’s parents, family and community have been supportive of his climate activism. Since he embarked on his journey, he has co-founded Climate Save Gambia (pushing for an end to animal agriculture and phasing out fossil fuels) and Extinction Rebellion Gambia.
On a community level, he holds great leadership potential. Through Extinction Rebellion Gambia, Sainey and fellow activist friends became the first organisers of the global climate strike inspired by Swedish Greta Thunberg in the Gambia.
He reports that climate education in the Gambia is very low, and the primary goal at Extinction Rebellion Gambia, is to raise awareness, with a focus on smallholder farmers, women and students.
Sainey has also had NGOs reach out to him for tree planting events, beach clean-ups, wetland restoration, climate education programs, climate strikes, organizing ‘heading for Extinction’ talks, among other engagements.
He has engaged his agency as an activist to address pollutive operations of some companies in the Gambia that is; Fishmeal factories, plastics companies and the Gambega soft drinks company.
With regard to climate awareness, Sainey says he would rate the Gambians as a ‘3’ on a scale of 1 to 10. ‘1’ representing zero awareness and ‘10’ representing utmost awareness.
He mentioned that this does not affect or deter his activism. When asked whether the level of awareness in urban is more than that in rural areas, Sainey said yes, it is.
He explains that actions taken by ordinary people in the Gambia include; wetland restoration, massive tree planting events, climate education, food system change and climate smart agricultural practices.
Some of the challenges he has encountered as an activist in Africa, include; climate change denialists, lack of government support and/or response to demands and a low level of climate education.
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Do you think African activists are willing to work with each other for the continent?
Please give an example of this:
Organizing climate strikes during the global climate days of action
Regarding a post-covid ‘just’ recovery (an ongoing topic of discussion) please describe the better new normal Africa that you wish for:
I wish for an Africa that has no new coal mines being put up, no new fossil few extraction activities, an Africa that preserves, protects and promotes biodiversity, that has improved food security, and above all, I wish for massive climate education drives in schools and communities.
You are part of a community tasked with rebuilding Africa for a better new normal Africa, what skills do you hold that you believe to be useful?
I’d be able to help with improving food production to prevent food insecurity in the changing climate
Why is awareness for climate change in Africa important?
Because, if we are aware, we will protect our biodiversity and preserve some of the most precious endangered species. This would lift people out of poverty. It would help improve food security
If we fight climate change, with coordinated action everywhere, Africa will:
Be a better place, with lots of economic opportunities, less poverty and an abundance of food for every African
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