UNESCO trains, sensitizes local authorities on environment sanitation

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By Olimatou Coker

The Gambia National Commission for UNESCO/ NATCOM has on Wednesday and Thursday trained and sensitised local authorities on environmental sanitation and management.

The training was held at Serekunda market and Brikama Area Council.

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Within the framework of the Islamic World Educational and Scientific Cultural Organisation (ICESCO) programme for 2022 in the Gambia, NATCOM is said to have received funding to implement the project on “culture as a vehicle for social change environmental sanitation and management”.

The NATCOM was able to invite and bring together relevant stakeholders and institutions to complement ICESCO’s efforts by way of providing support in the form of resources towards the realization of this impactful project.

This is one of the many activities to be implemented by NATCOM in the next months. The aim is to engage local authorities, women and youth groups in advocacy is to raise their awareness on the importance of relevance of legislation on environmental sanitation, protection as well as popularize he existing laws and policies governing the proper upkeep of the environment.

The program is funded by ICESCO and organized by UNESCO/ NATCOM in partnership with National Environment Agency and BAC.

Speaking, Maimuna Sidibeh, Acting Secretary General of UNESCO/NATCOM, said they are targeting about 25 counsellors, as well as supervisors in each of these municipalities.

“We are hoping that those who have benefited from this project would go back to the various communities to do step-down trainings to engage their communities, their families and their friends in order to give back to them. So that’s what we expect.”

She added that the project is funded by the Islamic World Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which is a specialized organization that operates under the auspices of the OIC Organization of Islamic Cooperation and is concerned with fields of education.

“ICESCO coming here today is to share with you knowledge and practices as well as to build capacities, issues related to environmental sanitation”.

She pointed out that in order to further enhance human development, there needs to be fundamental attitudinal change through promoting cultural practices.

Bakary Jadama, Manager for Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit at Brikama Area Council, said this training is timely.

“Based on the population of councils, we have seen the same problems, and the problem is more in KM and WCR especially in WRC because it is the most populated region of the country, where we have 600,000 plus people”.

He also called on people to stop burning waste as it causes a lot of health complications, noting that the training and sensitization will add value to their work and yield outcome and a successful environmental sanitation and management.