By:- Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang
At a landmark signing ceremony, the Director of Technical Services Network at the National Environment Agency has disclosed that the partnerships between NEA and KanifingMunicipal Council (KMC) is designed to improve coordination and enforcement of our environmental laws that gears towards the prevention of indiscriminate littering in public places, a practice that is unhealthy to the public and the environment
Malick Bah make this disclosure during an official signing ceremony of a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Kanifing Municipal Council recently held at the Council chamber. The MOU signed my Malick Bah on behalf of the agency’s Executive Director Dr. Dawda Badgie and the Chief Executive Officer of KMC Mr. Pa Ceesay is expected to further enhance an already formidable relationship between the two institutions undertaking similar mandates on the protection and preservation of our environment.
The Agency, he said cannot do it alone as they continue to face lot of challenges in the enforcement of environmental laws including the Ban on Plastic Bag Order 2015, the Anti-Littering Regulations 2007 among host of other environmental legislations. The NEA is with the view that this partnership between KMC and the Agency would yield dividend in maintaining a healthy and pollution free environment for Gambians, he pointed out.
wish to once again thank the managements of KMC and NEA for coming up with this laudable initiative in complimenting the efforts of each other towards the protection of human health and the environment through holistic enforcement of our environmental laws.” Director Bah posited, adding that both institutions has had a long standing relationships in the past and this MOU signed today is to further cement that already cordial relationship as manifested and registered success in our enforcement exercises.
In his narrative history, Bah revealed that NEA was established by section 9 of the National Environment Management Act 1994 as the principal body responsible for the coordination of environmental management in the country including the regulation of environmental protection. In order words , as an Agency it is not involved in the direct implementation of environmental polices but to ensure that the implementation of various environmental and related policies are well coordinated and regulated .
Adding on, he whispered that specific functions of the NEA as per section 10 of the NEMA Act includes the implementation of polices of National Environment Management Council (NEMC); prepare proposals for polices and environmental strategies for the Council , initiate legislative proposals, standards, guidelines and regulations in accordance with NEMA and most importantly to promote public awareness of environmental issues through gathering, analyzing and disseminating information about the environment among host of others.
On the provisions of NEMA, DTSN Bah bare that the Act also provides for the agency to liaise with private sectors, intergovernmental organizations, non-Governmental organizations, government agencies of other states on all issues relating to the environment. While the Agency as part of its coordination role builds and promote a robust partnership with diverse stakeholders including the parastatals, the civil society organizations, and community based organizations for an effective and enhanced implementation as per the government’s mandate.
Quoting that NEMA 1994 make provisions for additional bodies that ensures oversight on the functions of the Agency and also recognizes the multi–dimensionality of environment on the other part, Bah called for a successful implementation as enshrined in the provisions of the MOU for the next four years.
In conclusion he hailed this partnership to improve coordination and enforcement of our environmental laws geared towards the prevention of indiscriminate littering in public places, a practice that is unhealthy to the public and the environment. Thus this calls for sectoral planning and development initiatives in the field of environment to help strengthen institutional capacities, awareness creation and education for the public, build capacity of local structures for increased and sustained environmental development efforts which is more cost effective than establishing new structures outside the basic social fabric of the communities.
The Lord Mayor of KMC, Ahmed Talib Bensouda who presided over program, noted that addressing our common goals of protecting our environment and improve livelihoods of the people of his municipality.