Jul 26, 2012, 1:47 PM
The five-year sub-regional project was funded by the American people through the US Embassy in The Gambia.
In his handing-over speech, the Minister of Fisheries and Water Resources, Mass Axi Gye, said the provision of these facilities was a welcome development, especially as The Gambia steps forward to sustainable fisheries management reaching beneficiaries directly at the community level.
He noted that the Government of The Gambia under the leadership of President Yahya Jammeh would continue to give priority attention to the development and sustainable management of the fisheries sector for the attainment of national socio-economic development.
Minister Gye went further to say the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources and the department of fisheries would continue to collaborate with other stakeholder institutions in ensuring the implementation of the WASH Management plans.
He also assured the fishing communities that his ministry would continue to work with them for the development and sustainable management of the fisheries resources including the protection of the aquatic environment.
He implored the fishing communities to permanently change behaviours and apply best practices in ensuring that environmental hygiene and sanitation of the fishing sites are maintained, including the personal hygiene and sanitation of the sites users.
On behalf of the US Embassy Charge d’ Affairs, Public Affairs Officer Joshua Shrager spoke at length on the bilateral relationship between The Gambia and America, saying it started in 1830 when the United States established representation in The Gambia.
He said since then the two countries had been partnering in various priority areas, including education, healthcare and environment.
He said that even though they did not have a resident USAID presence at the Embassy in Banjul over the year, they have been able to secure regional funding to help the people of The Gambia and continue to deepen the long history together.
He spoke about the USAID/BaNafaa project, which he said, is the umbrella project of the WASH activities.
Its goal was to support the Government of The Gambia in achieving its fisheries development objectives of bio-diversity protection, poverty reduction, food security, as well as employment and income generation, he said.
The objectives of these WASH activities are to improve water supply and sanitation at approximately seven public fisheries landing sites and processing facilities, including oyster harvesting /processing sites.
Dr Bamba Banja, in his remarks on the occasion, said the USAID/BaNafaa project was a five-year regional initiative funded by the US Agency for International Development USAID, /West Africa Regional Mission.
The project is implemented through a cooperative agreement with the University of Rhode Island URI, as the lead, and the World-wide fund for Nature West Africa Marine program office WWF-WAMPO, as a regional implementing partner.
He said the project activities are carried out in partnership with the department of fisheries and stakeholders in the fisheries sector in The Gambia and Senegal.