Jun 20, 2017, 10:20 AM
The centre, located in the Brikama Area Council Annex, is a four-month pilot project funded by the European Union, Waste-aid and Concern Universal, in partnership with the Brikama Area Council and Women’s Initiative Gambia (WIG).
The centre primarily focuses on recycling waste, thus making waste useful. The delegation was led on the visit to the centre by officials of Concern Universal.
In his remarks at the centre, Ismaila Jarjou, programme coordinator of Concern Universal, welcomed the EU delegation, and cited the significance of the project with regards to solid and liquid waste management in the region.
Isatou Ceesay of Women’s Initiative Gambia (WIG) informed the visiting team of the ongoing activities in the centre, which include briquette making, manufacturing of compost fertilizer from organic waste and turning waste into fish and poultry meals.
Ms Ceesay noted that her organisation in collaboration with relevant partners, such as Concern Universal and Brikama Area Council, has been raising public awareness on making waste useful, thus empowering youth and women and thereby creating job opportunities.
Bakary Jadama, focal person and manager of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit of Brikama Area Council, said the region is poised for a high rate of waste generation due to rapid urbanisation and a large population size in the area.
Mr Jadama stated that activities are ongoing to train youth groups on waste recycling, and described the project as a worthwhile venture and a step in the right direction.
The BAC manager said the project would improve the livelihood and economic well-being of youths and women in the region.
Mr Jadama also noted that there are plans to use the Waste Innovation Centre, as a training venue for youths from other local government areas in the country.
He told the gathering that a total of 150 youths were trained and other groups would benefit from similar training sessions in due course.
Speaking on the occasion, Burang Danjo, the focal person fpr the project at Concern Universal, said the project was the first of its kind in the country, and informed the visiting team of the commitment of partners towards the sustainability of the project.
In his remarks, Mam Sait Jallow, Chief Executive Officer of Brikama Area Council, applauded the team for the visit and welcomed the delegates to the region on behalf of the Governor.
CEO Jallow estimated that the area generates 200 metric tonnes of waste per day, noting that the project has huge potentials in ensuring effective waste management.
Mr Jallow also told the gathering that the project is reducing the amount of waste generated and creating employment opportunities; thus deterring young people from endangering their lives through the high seas to Europe.
He assured the EU/EC delegates that his council was committed, and would work tirelessly with Concern Universal for the sustainability of the project.
Mrs Almudena MORANTE MENDEZ, European Commission desk officer in charge of The Gambia, commended the partners and said the objective of the project is significant in the context of empowering the youths and creating employment for them.
Ms MORANTE MENDEZ also told the gathering that the European Commission had prioritised creating employment opportunities for young people, as a key tool in the fight against youth migration to Europe.
She was accompanied on the visit by EU delegates Darrel Sexstone and Clemens Schrzota from Dakar.
The occasion was attended by ward councillors, senior staff of the council, members of the Women Initiative Gambia, and staff of Global Climate Change Alliance Livelihood Project.