Dec 30, 2010, 11:27 AM
Stakeholders on water and sanitation of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation project at the department of Water Resources recently sensitized the communities of Sintet, Kanfenda, Sibanor, Ndemban and Bulock in the Fonis, West Coast Region, on the concept of ‘hygiene community friendly’.
The forum was founded by the African Development Bank in partnership with the Government of The Gambia to create awareness on the importance of safe water supply, sanitation and proper hygiene behaviour to enhance the health status of the people.
Speaking at Sibanor and Ndemban, the programme coordinator, water sanitation and hygiene at the directorate of health promotion and education at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Alfred Gomez, highlighted the importance of building the capacity of communities to make them aware of set criteria of attaining ‘hygiene community friendly’ under the Rural Water and Sanitation Supply project.
He advised the communities to demonstrate high standard of sanitation and hygiene, citing the construction of latrines at household levels, and practise hand washing with soap at all times.
Deputizing the director of Water Resources, Alagie Jabbie, informed the project communities in the West Coast Region that for them to qualify as hygiene friendly, the continued availability of safe drinking water in their communities is essential.
He stressed the need for each and every beneficiary community to contribute to the maintenance fund, which is needed for the upkeep of the facilities.
The rural water and sanitation project specialist, Buba Jagne, said awareness creation would empower communities to carry out house-to-house monitoring sanitation, water and hygiene structures at community and schools to ensure compliance.
Sunkary Badjie from the department of community development office, said maintenance and access to sanitation facilities are crucial to helping people desist from open defecation, adding that no meaningful development could take place without health.
He reiterated the need for people to wash their hands after using toilets at all time, while calling for collective responsibility in the management of the facilities.
The Imam of Sibanor, Lamin Jammeh and Ensa Jarju, a water community member, on behalf of the beneficiaries assured of their support to the water and sanitation and hygiene project, while urging members of the water committees to work collectively for the sustainability of the facilities.