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Water supply, sanitation sectors review forum held

Jun 10, 2010, 4:22 PM

A one-day validation workshop on country assessment of water supply and sanitation sectors review and report ended on Tuesday 8th June 2010, at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.

The workshop, which was organised by the Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters, through the Department of Water Resources, was funded by the government of The Gambia, in collaboration with the African Development Bank with a view "to invest and service delivering in the water and sanitation and water supply services."

In his opening remarks, the Minister of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters, Lamin Kabba Bajo said the workshop seeks to review the report on the status of water supply and sanitation in the country and the report outcome of a collaborative effort of the African Development Bank and The Gambia.

He stated that water and sanitation constitute important pillars in the Millennium Development Goals agenda, and that it's one of the reasons why The Gambia government has accorded them high priority in the second poverty reduction strategy paper.

He further lamented that although The Gambia has made significant progress in improving access to safe-drinking water and sanitation facilities, this area of socio-economic development pose major challenges to governments in the developing countries.

According to Minister Bajo, similar reports are currently being prepared in 30 other African countries, to be published as 30 separate country reports so that countries can use them, share successes and challenges and highlight policy actions at all levels.

African Development Bank Consultant, Mr. Collins Annoh, for his part, said the bank has been playing an active role in the economic and social development of The Gambia. He said in collaboration with the government of The Gambia and other development partners, the bank has supported investment in agriculture, infrastructure, environment, education, social sector and governance, to mention but a few.

He pointed out that since 1980s, the bank has provided funding amounting to about 28 million Euros UA (37 million Euros) to support development and improvement in the water sanitation sector. This, he added, includes studies, physical infrastructure, water, governance and bias towards the urban sector.

He further pointed out that in order to assist Africa achieve sustained economic growth, as well achieve the water and sanitation MDGs, the bank has put water and sanitation sectors, as key in their areas of intervention.