Ministry validates Gambia’s first buildings and facilities policy

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure and partners in the private sector yesterday scrutinised and validated the country’s first buildings and facilities policy.

The draft policy, which seeks to give the ministry a clear vision of public buildings and facilities for the next ten years was validated at a daylong interactive forum held at the Paradise Suites Hotel.

In his opening remark, the Minister of Transport, Works and infrastructure, Bai Lamin Jobe, said his ministry’s decision to develop a comprehensive national building and facilities policy (2018-2027), shows that they are making progress.

According to him, the policy would promote an enabling environment at all levels for improved public buildings and facilities, refine and improve, where needed, the regulations and management of the public buildings and facilities sub sector.

The policy, he said, would also strengthen key stakeholders to undertake their responsibilities more effectively and efficiently by ensuring that institutional arrangement within the government was adequate to ensure government compliance with the policy.

He said the policy would also ensure the setting of standards to facilitate suitability and sustainability throughout the life-cycle of buildings taking into account the environment, health, safety, security considerations and training of professionals.

He noted that the policy would also support the governance of public buildings and facilities at the central and local governments.

“The policy is necessarily guided by fundamental principles, which gives it value. Such principles are equity, sustainability, accessibility to all,” he said.

The Transport Minister further informed the meeting that the draft policy would be finalised into a policy document which would be later presented to cabinet for review and adoption.

“From there it will be presented to the national Assembly for further scrutiny and adoption,” he said.

The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Mariama Ndure-Njie, said her ministry being the technical arm of government saw the urgent need to develop a sustainable national public buildings and facilities policy to adequately guide the construction and maintenance of building and other public works, infrastructure and facilities in The Gambia.

The building and construction sector, she said, is confronted with numerous challenges as highlighted in the draft policy. That notwithstanding, the sector was still very important to the Gambia’s socio economic development.

The sector, she further added, provides employment for different categories of employees.

She argued and concluded that for it to contribute fully to the nation’s development as envisaged in the development blueprint, they must address those challenges. 

Author: Isatou Senghore-Njie