Monday, June 5

UN water conventions in line with constitution of Gambia – Water Resources Minister

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Musa Drammeh, minister for Fisheries and Water Resources, has said the United Nations (UN) Water Conventions are in line with the Constitution of The Gambia at sections 215 (4d) and 216 (4) – Protecting the environment of the nation for posterity.

The minister made this statement recently when he tabled the report on Accession to the Convention on the law of the Non-Navigational uses of International Watercourses (1997 Watercourses Convention) and the Convention on the Protection and use of Trans boundary Watercourses and International Lakes (1992 Water Convention).

Minister Drammeh informed deputies that the conventions cover international surface or underground fresh watercourses, shared by two or more States and serve as a mechanism to strengthen international cooperation.

According to him, the Conventions embody a number of principles on equitable and reasonable utilisation, the obligation not to cause significant harm, the general obligation to cooperate, have regular exchange of data and information notification and response, relating to planned measures, protection and preservation of ecosystems, prevention, reduction and control of pollution, introduction of alien or new species, and protection and preservation of the aquatic environment.

The Fisheries and Water Resources minister further informed deputies that accession to the Water Conventions would demonstrate The Gambia’s willingness to cooperate on the basis of Trans-boundary norms and standards.

He said the country would automatically earn recognition of other actors at the international community for adhering to certain rules and standards.

Accession to the 1992 Water Convention would allow The Gambia the opportunity to ease suffering from frequent flash and floods or droughts by tapping assistance of the Convention programmes relating to adaptation to climate change or on Trans boundary flood management, as well as activities on dam safety and the water-food-energy ecosystems.

According to Minister Drammeh, the 1992 and 1997 Water Conventions would allow The Gambia to access support from the Convention in establishing such agreements and bodies or in strengthening existing ones.

The Minister added that the implementation of obligations, especially the obligation aimed at prevention, control and reduction of significant Trans-boundary impact, is crucial for The Gambia as a downstream riparian state with respect to its prominent Trans boundary basin – the River Gambia basin.