Jobo Samba (2006 Commonwealth Shared Scholar from Sierra Leone, MSc GIS with Remote Sensing and Management, Aberystwyth University) has a lead role in government efforts to protect the environment. Working as a GIS Advisor to the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, Jobo is leading on the demarcation and protection of sensitive environmental areas such as the Kangari Hills.
This particular area, lies between the Northern and Southern provinces of Bo and Tonkolili Districts, and is rich in Sierra Leone’s mineral resources such as gold. Jobo and his team work to ensure that no mining, farming or hunting activities take place in these important natural areas, protecting these regions for communities now and in the future.
This environmental work involves gathering data in often inhospitable conditions. Jobo and his colleagues often need to camp out in the forest to complete the data gathering and surveying. This also has to be undertaken whilst negotiating the forest’s wildlife, including snakes and bush pigs,
Jobo says that his scholarship has proved invaluable to his present work. ‘My MSc study at Aberystwyth is completely responsible for all I’m doing now. All the skills I am using to carry out the work described above stem, from my MSc studies in Aberystwyth.’
The benefits of Jobo’s scholarship are also being seen across different government departments. As well as further incorporating the sue of GIS technology in land surveys and mapping at the Ministry of Lands, Jobo has also been providing support to other government ministries and agencies, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security and the Environment Protection Agency, Sierra Leone. He has also conducted training programmes for these organisations, sharing his expertise with colleagues, and strengthening institutional capacity across government and the civil service.