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Urban Sector Profiling Assessment Programme Launched in WR

Aug 20, 2009, 7:26 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

Tuesday August 18th 2009 witnessed another historic landmark when the Urban Sector Profiling Assessment Programme by UN-HABITAT and the Government of the Gambia was launched at a ceremony, held at the Western Region Governor Conference hall in Brikama.

The project aims for the betterment of urban dwellers and the Gambian people at large, of which the government under the leadership of President Jammeh spare no time in all efforts to make the whole Gambia an urbanised settlement.

In his welcome remarks, the Governor of Western Region, Mr. Lamin Sanneh expressed appreciation and joy for hosting the launch in his region, adding that it is a clear manifestation of collaborative and shared responsibility required in nation-building.

The Governor noted that "urban sector profiling as the theme of the launch is part of the participatory slum upgrading programme to positively contribute to the Millennium Development Goal, seven and to urban poverty alleviation".

He noted that urban profiling is a process that encourages the participation of local, regional and central institutions, as well as the private sector. Mr. Sanneh added that urban sector profiling will build the capacity of stakeholders and institutions, as well as teaches on how to apply a participatory urban assessment in helping to determine the most pressing needs in tackling sustainable urban development, resource to tackle bottlenecks and identity opportunities for sustainable urban development.

Mr. Sanneh posited that the urban sector profiling assessment programme will no doubt complement the successful implementation of the proposal to enhance economic growth and development.

H concluded by thanking the government of the Gambia, UN-Habitat, the National Commission and the National Focal Point of the valuable efforts in making this programme a success.

In her speech, on behalf of the Director of National Planning Commission, Mrs. Juldeh Ceesay-Jallow, the Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluating (NPC), said the UN-HABITAT developed the participatory slum upgrading programme for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries as part of their effort to reduce urban poverty. She noted that the programme is being implemented by UN-HABITAT with financial support from the European Commission and its ACP Fund. The programme consists of two phases, urban sector profiling, and feasibility studies and action plan.

According to Mrs. Juldeh-Jallow, the programme is currently being implemented in 30 ACP countries in which the Gambia is among. Mrs. Juldeh-Jallow noted that UN-Habitat is the lead agency in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goal 7, target (Achieving significant improvement in the lives of the least 100 million slum dwellers by 20220) and this programme form part of the organisation contribution to the attainment of the set target.

According to Mrs. Juldeh Ceesay Jallow, the total funding for the first phase which is urban sector profiling is US$40,000 (forty thousand Dollars only), which will be disbursed through the UNDP Country Office for onward transmission to the National Planning Commission based on the agreed financial and deliverable output target. She said the launch will therefore provide the opportunity to share with the general public the objective of the project and the way forward

In his launch statement, Aljagie Abdoulie Manneh, the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Local Government, who deputised for the Minister, said the PSUP-Urban sector profiling (USP) aims to positively contribute to the realisation of the MDG7, target "reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and achieving significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020" in the participating ACP countries. He said to achieve this objective, the programme will strengthen local, central and regional institutions and key stakeholders capacities settlement and slum improvement in 30 countries.

Alhagie Manneh reiterated that "all of us have a role to play in urban development with each and every one of us having different role and a range of capacities to support and complement another's efforts".