Dec 3, 2019, 12:50 PM
A multi-million water and sanitation grant project funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in Germany in partnership with ChildFund Germany, last Saturday wrapped up at a ceremony held at Mayork Senior Secondary School in the West Coast Region.
The project has been operating within the West Coast Region for the past two years through ChildFund-The Gambia, Ding-Ding Bantaba and Eastern Foni Federation with the aim of building the capacity of local communities and ensuring access to clean drinking water.
ChildFund Deutschland, on behalf of the ChildFund network, in October 2011 received a two-year grant from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development in the form of a project called ‘Building capacity for sustainable access to portable water’ in 12 villages in The Gambia.
The project constructed nine wells, rehabilitated five existing wells and conducted series of capacity-building activities on pump operation and management, water hygiene and sanitation in the intervention villages and schools.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Famara Darboe, on behalf of acting-National Director of ChildFund-The Gambia, Mustapha Kebbeh, underscored the importance of the event.
According to him, the project was geared towards supporting local partners through ChildFund for the past years.
“Today we are witnessing a successful implementation of a project partnership with those local partners and the German Embassy,” he said, expressing hope the project will be continued.
“ChildFund as we know is a child pleasure and development agency and will continue to do more to support more people in the country, especially children,” Mr Darboe said, adding: “We know how this important project performed in terms of helping people to get access to clean drinking water.”
He went on to challenge the beneficiaries to take ownership of the project for its sustainability.
Bakary Badjie, Chief of Foni Bondali, commended ChildFund for the support rendered to the community of his district, noting that the importance attached to the project cannot be overemphasized as water and sanitation remain key pillars in society.
Chief Badjie assured the donor agency that the project will be utilised effectively and well managed to realize its sustainability.
He also commended the German Embassy and ChildFund for their foresight, appealing to them to bring in more projects.
For her part, project manager Ellen Schiller said that through the project, availability of clean drinking water will be easy, the village structures will be strengthened and the hygiene standards will be increased, especially in neglected villages.
According to her, to achieve the aims of the project, concrete steps should be taken among them reactivation of existing facilities or establishment of new water facilities for committees, and development of a new constitution with by-laws on how to use the wells in a participatory way.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Anita Martin of the German Embassy in The Gambia underscored the importance her embassy attached to the project and thanked all the partners for ensuring the successful completion of the project.