By Omar Bah
The Kanifing Municipal Council in partnership with the National Authorising Officer Support Unit (NAOSU), under the framework of the Gambia-EU Cooperation, yesterday trained over 100 stakeholders on effective waste management.
The day-long interactive workshop, which was held at the KMC chambers brought together waste management stakeholders and other development partners, from KMC, BCC and Brikama Area Council.
In his opening remarks, the program analyst, NAOSU, Mutarr Jammeh said the Gambia’s growing population and the increasing consumer lifestyles is increasing the volume and changing the nature of the waste produced in the country.
He said this increase is mainly affecting the KMC, BCC and Brikama Area Council.
“This is compounded by the increasing socio-economic and demographic pressure on the coastal areas,” Mr Jammeh stressed.
He added: “During the raining season, a large amount of the waste drains into small water bodies and finally into the coastal estuary waters resulting to the pollution of marine resources, habitants and ecosystems.”
He defined this as a threat to human health.
“Owing to all this factors, interventions are necessary to change people’s attitudes and behavior on waste management to ensure a cleaner environment”.
“In this regard, a multi-pronged approach is critical for developing sustainable solutions to waste reduction and better waste management- where possible by putting in place incentives towards waste collection and processing through livelihood development, and involving communities and the private sector,” he said.
He said the UN report on waste management published in 2010 indicated that over 3.5 billion people around the world are not receiving any formal waste collection service.
The deputy Mayor of the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), Momodou Jaiteh said waste management related issues still remains a great challenge for the KMC and other highly populated areas.
“The issue of waste management is of great concern to the KMC and it will remain to be until we achieve our dream of making KM a municipality free from waste,” he said.
He also called for the inclusion of the country’s private sector and other development partners in the areas of waste management,
Meanwhile, the Director of Service KMC Salama Njie, said over the years they have developed two strategic documents to guide them towards the attainment of a model municipality.
According to the WHO, all individuals exposed to hazardous health-care waste are potentially at risk, including those within health-care establishments that generate hazardous waste, and those outside these sources who either handle such waste or are exposed to it as a consequence of careless management.