Friday, April 8, 2011

NATCOM/UNESCO Celebrates Water Day

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The Gambia National Commission for UNESCO, joins the rest of the world to celebrate world Water day 7th April, 2011 at the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) conference hall. The objective of the day, according to UNESCO, is to focus international attention on the impact of rapid urban populationgrowth, industrialization and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natual disasters on urban water systems. 

 The theme for the celebrations dubbed “Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenges”. Speaking at the occasion, Mrs Sukai Bojang, secretary general, NATCOM/UNESCO said that the United Nations Water for Life Decade 2010-2015 has come up with a very important call for an Internatonal Decade for action. 
 She recalled that, it was in 2006, UNESCO’s International Hydrological programme, (IHP) launched its first conference the Theme “Urban Water Conflict”, adding that the objective was to chiefly focus on international water conflicts transboundary Rivers and aquifers.
  According to Bojang, water can cause conflict especially in the urban settling, buttressing on her point, she said the quality and expansion of drinking water services and their continuing can be part of the potential area of conflict. 
 She continued, urban hydrology problems (storm water control), impact of large cities upon their environment in particular water resources use and misuse, financing investment, tariff setting and out recovery and degress of freedom lift to urban dwellers-vis-a visa the services provided, saying that all the cited above can be considered as water conflict. 
 In his welcoming remarks, Mr, Cherno  Barry of NATCOM/UNESCO said that water contributes to sustainable development in other important ways noting that water is a basic human needs in daily lives. He adds: “it is a major source of energy in some parts of the world adding that while in others its potential as an energy source remains largely untapped."
 According to him, water is also necessary for agriculture and for many industrial processes. In addition, se pointed out that in more than a few countries such as The Gambia, it makes up an integral part of transport system. In addition, he says with improved scientific understanding, the international community has also come to appreciate more fully the valuable services provided by water related ecosystem, from flood control to forum protection and water purification. 
 He disclosed that some analysts have predicted future conflicts are water, many countries successfully share basins, inland seas and other water resources, showing that this challenges can also be a powerful catalyst for international cooperation. 
 He debunked that with the rate of urban rural drift today, several challenges are faced by governments and stakeholders in the management up water to avoid water crisis, he posstived. 
Presenting a paper on the topic “water management for cities” by Mr. Yahya Al Matarr Jobe principal programme officer (Natural Science) NATCOM/UNESCO, said that urbanization brings with it, opportunities for more efficient water management as well as for the provision of driving water supply and sanitation services to many people. 
 He added that urbanisation of winter land catchments is resulting in increased, run-off and sediment erosion, and enroachment auto flood plans and drinage ditches, which combine to increase flood risk and flood damage. 
 According to Jobe, the expanding city populations require increased water supplies for drinking, washing and cooking In turn, he adds a demand for more food translate into water needed for expanding market places, afro-industry and food processing operations.
 Other presenters included, Dr. Momodou Njie, consultant on "Effects of Climate Change on Water and Mr. Adama Jimba Jobe, director of Science and Technology Education at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education.

No comments: