By: Modou Kanteh
In order to improve and address the data gaps in the water and sanitation sector in the Gambia, the Department of Water Resources on Thursday 18th May 2023, convened a day long stakeholders meeting at the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources conference Hall, in Banjul.
In 2008, the Heads of States and Governments of the African Union Assembly in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt mandated the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), to report on the progress in implementing its commitment to water and sanitation.
Consequently, the Council in 2016 developed the Africa Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring and reporting System (WASSMO), which is a web-based system for monitoring and reporting progress in the water and sanitation sector.
The system is designed to assist AMCOW to track the progress towards the attainment of Sharm El Sheikh, AfricaSan and Ngor Commitments, as well as the African Water Vision 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goal 6 targets by 2030.
Deputizing for the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, the Deputy Permanent Secretary Madam Fanta BS Manneh said the Ministry is honoured to coordinate the establishment of the National Coordination Platform (NCP) for effective stakeholder collaboration to strengthen data sharing in the water and sanitation sector. She pointed out that accurate, reliable and up-to-date data is critical in implementing effective policies and programmes that promote socio-economic development in Africa.
According to the Deputy Permanent Secretary, the data exercise is expected to complete Africa’s baseline data for water and sanitation, through gathering previous and current outstanding data sets on water and sanitation sector progress from the years 2016 to 2022.
“Your usual cooperation will yield a better input for enabling evidence-based decision-making and planning for our country and Africa as a whole,” DPS Manneh said.
The Director of the Department of Water Resources Mr. Lamin Mai Touray said the mission of the Department of Water Resources is to “regulate and manage the sustainable utilisation of water resources, coordinate related policies, provide timely accurate weather, climate data and information to safeguard population and promote food security through effective participation among other things. He indicated that the legal framework which delegates these mandates is the National Water Resources Council Act of 1979.
“Therefore, to effectively manage water and related resources, there is a need for adequate data on information to enhance proper planning through evidence-based decision making,”
Touray noted that over the years, the department has partnered with key stakeholders to collect various data at international, regional and national level to support the tracking of the various developmental targets. Director Touray applauded the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) for the initiative.
He expressed appreciation for overwhelming participation of the stakeholders and further encouraged them to be more committed to this initiative for the benefit of all.