Basse — The Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources Thursday launched the African Development Bank (ADB) Regional Water Supply and Sanitation Project (RWSSP) in the Upper River Region (URR).
The project, which is worth US$8M, will benefit the three villages of Sonkunda, Gambisara and Sare Bojo. It is jointly funded by the Gambia government and the African Development Bank (ADB). The project is expected to increase access to safe drinking water and improve hygiene practices in the rural areas.
Speaking at the launching ceremony at the governor's Bantaba, the head of the Rural Water Supply Department at the Department of Water Resources, Alhagie Jabbie, spoke at length on the importance of the project. He said it will improve the provision of clean drinking water in the rural areas and also increase the margin from 70% to 72% coverage in the rural areas.
He assured that the Gambia government is committed to ensuring that every village in the rural areas and the country at large has clean drinking water. "We are doing everything possible to improve the hygiene education component in view of the fact that people need to be sensitised to maintain the water quality and preserve it from collection point to consumption point," he added. Jabbie finally urged the people to adopt a positive attitude towards sanitation.
Manding Saidykhan, the principal assistant secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, dilated on the importance of the project to the beneficiary communities. He said that currently 30% of the population is lacking clean drinking water, but the government of The Gambia is doing everything possible to overcome the challenges in the area of water shortage.
According to him, the four-year project will improve access and potable drinking water, better sanitation and health and will further complement government efforts in reaching the development aspirations of the country.
Momodou S Jallow, the deputy governor of the URR, harped on the importance of the project to the communities in his region. He said the problem of water that the region used to encounter will become a thing of the past, and urged the beneficiaries to take ownership of the project.
Omar Sampo Ceesay, the chairman of the Basse Area Council, described the launching as timely taking into account the importance of water to the communities. He reaffirmed the Council's commitment to ensuring that the aims and objectives of the project are achieved.