By Olimatou Coker
National Environment Agency (NEA) on Friday concluded a two-day capacity enhancement training for National Assembly members, chiefly those on the select committee on environment.
The training was held at NAQAA in Kanifing.
The training aims to help in the sensitization of the electorate in an effort to jealously protect and preserve what remains of our natural resources.
Speaking, Dodou Tarawally, executive director of NEA, said as NAMs on select committee on environment they needed to know more on environmental deals and the mandates of NEA to deliver effectively.
“Less than a month ago, we had another session with them, that was a review of the National Environment Management Act which was very successful in a way that we had a very high participation from the NAMs, and today we have a very good turn out.”
According to him, their mandate is in two parts coordinating institution and regulatory body for environmental protection of the country.
Sainey Touray, chairperson, NA select committe on Environment, said their presence is very important in a sense that all environmental activities are under them.
“Our relationship with NEA has been like a partnership, and the partnership is meant to mitigate environmental problems that we have in the country. So it is a partnership that we really cherish very well at the level of the parliament,”he said.
“We can only discuss when all of us are in one room to share ideas, share best practices because we all come from different institutions, when interface dialogue is done our work will be easier,” he added.
According to Touray there are many environmental eyesores that need to be fixed, together with NEA.
He called call on Gambians to change their attitudes for the betterment of the environment.
“I am very much optimistic that my committee and all other people who are present here will give their very best to this training. This is the only way we can help in working towards the betterment of our environment. I can see the readiness, and the level of prepareness that all of us have at the back of our minds.”
Lamin BJ Samateh, programs officer of NEA, gave a brief overview of the mandates of the NEA since 1977.
He said NEA promotes, coordinates and proposes environment policies to the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) for their endorsements, and to guide the execution of these policies in coordination and cooperation with other agencies of the Gambia, as well as to propose to the competent government authorities any general or particular measures designed to facilitate the execution of government’s environment policies.