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TARUD trains field workers on need assessment

Jan 4, 2012, 1:36 PM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

Trust Agency for Rural Development (TARUD), in partnership with Banafaa Project, recently concluded a three-day training for field workers on the usage of need assessment tools.

The training, which lasted for three days, was held at the National Beekeepers Association’s office in Brikama Nyambai Forest.

Speaking on the occasion, Fabourama Darboe, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) coordinator for TARUD, said TARUD had been sub-contracted by the project to conduct a need assessment in seven fishing landing sites along the coast and nine oyster harvesting areas along the River Gambia.

The affected fishing landing sites include Kartong, Gunjur, Sanyang, Bato Kunku, Tanjeh, Brufut, and Bakau.

Similarly, the oyster harvesting areas involved are Carmalo, Wencho, Old Jeshwang, Ebo Town, Faji Kunda, Abuko, Lamin, Mandinaring, and Kubuneh cluster.

The purpose of the need assessment was to select seven sites from the sixteen for the provision of water and sanitation.

According to him, the Gambia-Senegal Sustainable Fisheries project called BANAFAA is a five-year initiative (2009 - 2014) that is supported by the American people through the USAID West Africa Region Mission.

It is being implemented through a University Rhode Island-USAID cooperative agreement as an associate award to the Sustainable Coastal Communities and Ecosystem (SUCCESS) in partnership with World Wide Fund (WWF) West Africa Marine Eco-Regional Programme and the Gambia government through the Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters and Fisheries Department.

He said one of the first activities to be conducted is the need assessment in 16 communities (7 CFCs and 9 oyster processing and sale sites), which will be done by Trust Agency for Rural Development (TARUD) through the identification of WASH needs for each community.

“The needs assessment will focus on the availability and quality of water, sanitary practices at the landing sites, fish waste disposal practices, public health and sanitation awareness, availability of toilets and hand-washing facilities, disposal methods of fish waste, medium to long-term risks of coastal erosion and increased vulnerability from climate change,” he noted.

For his part, Dr Bamba Banja, WASH project coordinator, stated that WASH is a component of the Banafaa project, which attracts additional funding from USAID for implementation within five years.

Some of the major activities in each selected sites are the provision of water and sanitation in selected sites as well as the provision of capacity building training for CFC management committees, user groups and local government authorities through Public Health and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST).

According to him, WASH has put sustainability measures in place, such as the creation of management planning bodies, inclusive and participatory processes that ensure local ownership, implementation of planned activities mainly at community level, capacity development on local ownership and maintenance of facilities.

The principal objective of WASH, he said, is to improve water supply and sanitation in approximately seven Community Fisheries Centres (CFC) and oyster landing and processing sites.

This therefore means improved sanitary handling of seafood supply and high quality seafood entering both the local and processing establishments.

Dr Banja added that it is anticipated that by the end of the project 44,000 persons in seven targeted communities would have access to public or shared improved sanitation facilities in communal or institutional settings.

He further revealed that 7,300 persons shall be benefiting from hygiene promotion activities and seven community water and sanitation committees established and trained.

Bunja Danjo, the lead trainer of the project, revealed that specific tools were designed to be used in identifying the need assessment, such as focus group discussions, trend line to determine the trend of environmental changes either positive or negative including the mitigation measures, Venn diagrams to determine the types of fish sites and existing institutions and their relationship with each other.