The Pernament Secretary at the Department of State for Fisheries and Water Resource, Mr. Lamin Nyabally has said that The Gambia has witnessed major constraints in providing water supply for drinking and domestic purposes. He noted that the absence of safe drinking water has increased concern for a healthier population and high survival rates among children.
Mr. Nyabally made this remark on behalf of the SoS for Fisheries and Water Resources at the launching ceremony of the European Commission and Christian Children's Fund. Water & Sanitation Project for communities in Western Region. on Wednesday, 7 November 2007,at the Girls Guide Healdquarters in Kanifing.
He added that the provision of safe drinking water to rural and peri- urban communities has become one of the key priorities for the Government of The Gambia. He said this will contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals and Vision 2020. He remarked that The Gambia Government had since 1996 continued to make improvement on both coverage and access to safe drinking. "Today up to 65% of the rural communities have access to safe drinking water," he said.
He noted that The Gambia has recently promulgated a water policy, which calls for the establishment of a management, and inclusive water resources frame work that is based on integrated water resources management principles. "In the same vein, a water maintenance policy is being developed to provide a framework for community water management. This will provide the necessary instrument for capacity building for water user groups for better management and maintenance of community water management systems," he said.
Mr. Nyabally dilated that Christian Children Fund has extended its focus to include supply of water to needy people of The Gambia, which he said will complement Government's efforts in water and management issues. He said the 29 hand-dug concrete wells fitted with hand pumps will contribute to the improvement of the health of the rural poor of the Western Region of The Gambia. He noted that it will also contribute to the MDGs . He reiterated that the project will reduce the problems being face by the communities of the Western Region, particularly on water borne diseases. He remarked that the water and sanitation (WAT/SAN) education component of the project would educate communities on the importance of water sanitation practices that would decrease the incidence of diarrhea related diseases such as Cholera, dysentery and Worm Infestations.