Ndey Siren Bakurin was speaking at a presentation of assorted cleansing materials recently donated by the NEA to the Governor`s office and the NEA`s regional office in Kerewan, North Bank Region.
She noted that waste of plastic origins and other non-biodegradable materials are becoming more prominent in The Gambia in recent years.
Improperly managed solid waste, she noted, poses a risk to human health and the environment.
Uncontrolled dumping and improper waste handling causes a variety of problems, including contaminating water, attracting insects and rodents, and increasing flooding due to blocked drainage canals or gullies, she pointed out.
The NEA executive director reminded the gathering that the donation of these cleansing equipment was in response to the clarion call of the President to support the implementation of the monthly Operation Clean the Nation (OCN) dubbed Set-Setal.
She said the environment being the driving force for the socio-economic development of any region or country, the provision of these cleansing materials to the their regional stakeholders would help boosts the morale of the monthly cleansing activity that is mostly carried out by institutions and folk organizations that normally need tools to embark on this monthly exercise.
The effects of inadequate waste management, she noted, continue to affect not only the habitants of the Greater Banjul Area, but the effects are now becoming apparent in growth centers including Farafenni, Barra and Essau villages in NBR, she stated.
She further disclosed that the Gambia government is as always committed to addressing this problem.
“This is the reason why the President who also doubles as the chairman of the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) initiated the monthly Operation Clean the Nation (OCN) and the introduction of the Anti-Littering Regulation in order to increase awareness of the importance of a healthy and clean environment,” NEA boss added.
Mrs Bakurin further announced that starting from the month of October 2014, OCN would now be observed twice in every month (2nd & 4th Saturdays) as revealed by an executive directive.
In receiving the items, the Governor of NBR, Lamin Queen Jammeh, applauded the NEA for what he described as a benevolent gesture that would go a long way in their day-to-day efforts to clean the environment.
Governor Jammeh called on the citizenry of NBR to utilize the donated materials judiciously and for the purposes they were meant for.
Alhaji Lamin Ceesay, Chairman of Kerewan Area Council, called on the people of NBR to take ownership of their environment and never wait to be told to clean their surroundings.
Now the NEA has brought these cleansing materials to their doorsteps, he said, this was one of the greatest motivations one could offer as support to regional government establishments in the maintenance of the environment, he added.