Speaking recently at the launching of Network of Journalists on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH – The Gambia), the environment minister said: “Water is important, so linking it with sanitation and hygiene gives it a very comprehensive view. It is crucial to ensure that we put all the elements together for it to be wholesome. This network should help government in ensuring that all the stakeholders are brought on board on Integrated Water Resources Management. The gender dimension is paramount because water is everybody’s business. We have the global water partnership which is trying to champion this and to ensure that we have a country water partnership. As a ministry, we hope we will be able to give the network all the support it needs which is also in line with national objectives and the millennium development goals (MDGs) including access to safe drinking water. Sanitation is a challenge and so your role as journalists in disseminating information is paramount. When we talk about hygiene in terms of a clean environment, we are also talking about the management and disposal of waste both solid and liquid waste. These wastes have a bearing on water and environment and during my tour of waste disposal sites, in some parts of West Coast region I have discovered that waste management is a big problem and we are seeking your support in raising the awareness of the people on sustainable waste management in the country. I want to assure you that our doors are open and will ensure that this network partners with other networks.”
Mr Jarjue said that water and sanitation are interlinked in which a poor sanitary environment could lead to water pollution. He stated that this can occur both in terms of infiltration to ground water and from the water source to final consumption.
“If we are not using clean utensils or clean means of transporting water, it can quickly get polluted and infiltration through pipes. Hygiene is also very important because even if you have clean water, but the hygiene practices are absent, this can lead to the pollution of the water. There are a lot of water related diseases that are linked to hygiene in the environment and it is necessary to bring all the stakeholders for the proper management of water.”]]>