Gambia: '98% of LRR has access to clean drinking water’
29 September 2014
The regional water motivator in the Lower River Region (LRR), Kantong T. Marena, has disclosed that 98% of the population of the region has access to clean and potable water. He informed that only a few people, mostly those living in hamlets are still using local wells as sources of drinking water instead of boreholes or hand pumps.
The water motivator was speaking recently in Mansakonko during a day´s consultative meeting to update key stakeholders in the region on the pilot implementation of the consultant´s communication strategy for the promotion of the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) project in The Gambia. The forum was organised by the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Water Resources, Parks and Wildlife.
Marena thanked the participants for responding to their invitation, saying their contributions to the preparation of the strategy would be relevant to the initiative.
The monitoring and evaluation specialist for the National Water Sector Reform Project (NWSRP), Paul L. Mendy, in a power point presentation, affirmed that the purpose of the meeting was to update key stakeholders of the status of implementation of the NWSRP, financed by The Gambia Government and the African Water Facility (AWF) of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
He pointed out that in The Gambia there is no single authority with mandate to regulate the national water resources sector due to the fact that there are several legal overlaps in the water sector; ranging from power, authority to responsibilities. This, he noted, explained the reason why there is the need to reform the nation´s water sector.
Mendy informed that the Ministry, through the Department of Water Resources, is advancing with the various activities of the water sector to develop the legal and institutional arrangements for the implementation of the Water Policy.
"Key stakeholders in the water sector, their knowledge/gaps about IWRM have been identified and communication strategy for IWRM under the WRMA has been drafted and reviewed by stakeholders at a workshop. An awareness campaign and training are also being carried out with stakeholders in all regions of the country," he indicated.
The monitoring and evaluation specialist indicated further that institutional structure for the new water resources and metrological agency has been agreed and that the second bill for a new Water Act replacing the 1979 version was reviewed by key stakeholders, awaiting final draft.
The national coordinator of the Gambia Country Water Partnership (GCWP), Momodou B.E. Njie, explained that the initiatives are meant to harness the productive potentials of the water and water related resources, and to limit the destructive potentials of the sector.
The deputy governor of LRR, Abu Njie, commended The Gambia Government under the leadership of President Jammeh for creating the enabling environment for development to take centre stage in the country. He stressed the need for government to be supported in order for it to continue bringing more development.
He also thanked the Department of Water Recourses and partners for the initiative to reform the water sector in the country. "The initiative is not only timely, but also very important step towards nation building; thus requires the collaboration and participants of stakeholders to make sure that the reform programme is implemented successfully for the benefits of all Gambians," he urged.
Deputy Governor Njie encouraged participants to keenly participate in the consultative meeting given that their inputs will go on long way towards the successful implementati on and promotion of the integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in The Gambia.