Members of the Regional Drainage, Sanitation and Waste Management Committees in the Lower River Region on Wednesday attended a two-day capacity building forum on drainage, sanitation and waste management at Kairo Konko Scout Headquarters in Soma.
Organised by the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) through its regional office in Mansakonko, the forum is part of the implementation of the EU-funded project on Drainage, Sanitation and Waste Management project designed to minimise the negative impact of floods in the country.
Lamin Saidy, the coordinator of the Disaster Management Committee in the Region, said the forum targets masons and members of the Regional Drainage, Sanitation and Waste Management Committee of LRR.
He affirmed that the event is part of nation-wide activities embarked upon by NDMA for the implementation of the second component of the said EU-funded project.
The first component, he went on, deals with issues like the construction of drainage system in major disaster hotspots across the country, citing the ongoing construction of proper drainage system in major hotspots in Jarra Soma among others.
He said the objective of the EU-funded project is to support the Government to avert future flooding in the country.
The project, he further explained, came as a result of an outcome of a risk mapping exercise to identify disaster hotspots in the country, conducted by the National Disaster Management Agency in 2010.
“What we want at the end of the day is to mitigate the impact and consequences of flooding in the future; thus the need for communities too to come onboard and take collective responsibilities [in the management of the drainage system], instead of them allowing few to litter the drainage system with rubbish”.
Alieu Samba Nyang, the Programme Officer at the European Union office in Banjul, expressed happiness to be part of the forum and intimated that the project is part of the EU and Gambia Government Development Cooperation.
Alhagie Abu Njie, the Deputy Governor of Lower River Region, commended the Government of the Gambia for creating the enabling environment for development.
Njie also hailed the European Union for its support to the people and Government of the Gambia on its development agenda.
“I will also call on the people of LRR to avoid settling in waterways as well as encourage them to manage their waste products instead of engaging in indiscriminate dumping, which encourages flooding”.
Ansumana Sambou, the Director of Planning and Development at Mansakonko Area Council, expressed similar sentiments.
He urged the participants to take ownership of the project in the interest of national development.
by Salifu M. Touray in LRR