#National News

PURA: Less than one-third of households use potable water

Jun 6, 2022, 11:27 AM | Article By: Fatou Dem

Safety managed drinking water sources has been a challenge in the country for many and the current sector legislation in The Gambia adds up to the challenges.

On 31st May 2022 the Public Utility and Regulatory Authority (PURA) validated the first Water and Sewage Services Regulations.
Yusupha M. Jobe, director general of PURA said the current National Water Resources Council Act 1979 is not up to date and is barely adequate for the dynamic challenges.
“A sound legal framework is one of the key instruments needed to transform the water and sanitation sector,” DG Jobe said.
He added the existing water stress is likely to continue with severe implications on health and the ecosystems if they fail to take necessary actions to mitigate the impact of climate change, uncontrolled urbanisation, and increased demand for water supply.
He said safe drinking water and sanitation is a fundamental human right and not a privilege.
“In The Gambia, 84.8% of households have access to basic drinking water sources, but only 33.8% of households are using safely managed drinking water sources,” he stated.
The director general further said that his office is proactively contributing to the sector reforms and the transformative process of strengthening the enabling environment.
According to the draft version of the regulations for water supply and sewage services, PURA shall issue licenses for water supply utility licenses (water production, treatment, distribution, and sale).
The authority shall also issue a sewage utility license (sewage collection, conveyance, treatment, and disposal) as well as shall also issue septic trucks transformation license.

Dembo Fatty, a representative of the Ministry of Health said their mandate is to ensure the country has access to quality, sanitation, and hygiene at all levels.
Mr. Fatty added that the statistics in the country where Gambians have access to safely managed drinking water is a concern, adding that the Sustainable Development Goals targets aim at ensuring clean and stable water supply and effective water sanitation for all people by 2030.

Alieu M. Ngum, board chairman of PURA said we need regulations to support the implementation of our policies and laws.

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