West African Birds Association (WABSA), in collaboration with the National Environment Agency (NEA), on Friday held a one-day sensitisation forum for students and some members of the organisation.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Banjul City Council (BCC), Sandigie Njie, said preliminary results have confirmed that malaria cases in some areas have dropped by up to 40% as a result of the monthly Operation Clean the Nation exercise instituted by President Jammeh in 2004.
PRO Sandigie Njie made these remarks on behalf of the Mayor of Banjul City Council, Abdoulie Bah, on Friday at the BCC conference hall as he presided over a daylong Anti-Littering Bill sensitisation forum.
“We therefore applaud the President of the Republic for initiating such foresight that will help to prevent many diseases that continue to kill hundreds of thousands of vulnerable citizens who could have been very productive in our agricultural, health, education and economic sectors,” PRO Njie stated.
He urged the students to disseminate the knowledge gained from the forum as well as to share it with their fellow colleagues who did not have the opportunity to be part of the forum.
“Use peer pressure on your friends to change their attitudes towards their environment because with firm conviction and required support from all well-wishers providing the requisite tools for sound waste management, our nation will be transformed into one of the cleanest and healthiest in Africa in only a few years from now,” PRO Njie tasked participants.
Mr Njie also said the President, in his capacity as the Chairman of the National Environment Management Council, on 14 June 2007 passed into law the Anti-Littering Regulations, which aims at bringing about positive attitudinal change on waste management in particular and the environment in general.
“As the population is rapidly on the increase,” he added, “many of our urban communities are now experiencing the negative effects of poor waste management and the impacts on sanitation thus the negative effects of poor waste management and sanitation will steadily eliminate all the achievements recorded in recent years.”
The low level of awareness on the provisions of the law among BCC’s main collaborators has been found to be a major shortcoming, he said, adding that this was why Banjul City Council had embarked on a massive nationwide sensitization on the Anti-Littering regulations in particular and on attitudinal change towards the environment in general.
The Executive Director of West Africa Birds Study Association (WABSA), Lamin Jobarteh, said the forum was organised by his association in partnership with the National Environment Agency (NEA) with the main purpose of sensiting its members and communities on Anti-Littering Bill.
“It was a good move to invite the students to partake in this important forum because they are the future leaders of this country and also Anti-Littering prohibits indiscriminate throwing of waste or water in the street,” Mr Jobarteh told participants.
He said his association was formed to complement the efforts of the Gambian government in biodiversity, while stating his trust and respect for the calibre of participants at the forum, who would put the knowledge and skills gained from the forum into good use.