By Mariama Marong / Ndey Sowe
Young Volunteers for the Environment (YVE), held a day-long forum for stakeholders on Monday, 17 of January, 2022, on wash data, gap identification and lobbying strategy, for the promotion of water, sanitation and hygiene in the Gambia.
The objective of the forum is to strengthen and promote learning, exchange of ideas and best practices in climate resilience and wash development.
The forum, which was funded by the Secretariat of WaterAid UK and Sanitation and Water for All Network, was held under the theme: “secure water, empowered citizens and the essential role of social accountability, in scaling up WASH and WRM solution for a broader impact”.
The event was also supported by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Department of Public health services through the Ministry of Health.
Joe Bangay, the Executive Director for YVE, said the forum is out to support the national WASH development of YVE, for the achievement of effective coordination among WASH actors towards the overall global WASH program.
He further said their ambition for 2030 reflects on what the country will deliver in terms of commitment to achieve immediate and lasting change in people’s lives, in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We hope this forum will support the role of the WASH national program by building the capacity of communities and stakeholders so that they can take action in accordance with their needs,” he said; adding that their role as Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), is to eliminate inequalities through the realisation of human rights to water and sanitation by raising the political will of authorities and ensuring good governance.
He emphasised that the right to water and sanitation is a human right that stands on equal point with any other right, and therefore it is entitled to individuals in having access to sufficient quality of safe drinking water for personal and domestic uses, and to safe sanitation in respect of human dignity.
Speaking earlier, Dawda Badjie, the Deputy Director of the National Environment Agency (NEA), said the role of CSOs is important in driving the Government to account for action that needs to be taken.
On behalf of the Government, Dr, Buba Majang, Director of Public Health Services and focal person for sanitation and water for all in the Gambia, expressed his profound gratitude to YVE for recognizing such an important forum on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.