Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stakeholders Brainstorm On Sanitation And Hygiene Policy

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- Stakeholders from government ministeries, departments, UN Agencies, Civil Society Organisations, as well as the media gathered at the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) conference hall in early March to discuss the country’s National Strategy for Sanitation and Hygiene Policy 2011-2016.  The strategy has been developed within the context of a number of national policy and legislative instruments relevant to sanitation and hygiene, Mr. Sana Jawara, representing the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare said at the official opening. 

According to Jawara, the strategy seeks primarily to strengthen and highlight the important relationship between sanitation and development as well as to emphasize the important role that sanitation plays in the daily lives of people. 
 He noted that the first National Policy on Sanitation and Hygiene for The Gambia (2009) have provided the core policy foundations for the elaboration of strategy (2011-2016).  
 In a similar vein, Jawara said the government of the Gambia has also taken note of the level and in particular the pledges made in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which he added, the government has seriously aligned to its national development agenda through the development of an MDG-based Second Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (MDG – based PRSP II). 
  Giving an overview of the strategy policy, Mr. Burama Keba Sagnia said the rationale for the development of the strategic plan is of critical importance to the operationalisation of the national sanitation policy. 
 He said it was expected that the goals promoted in this strategy would contribute to the realization of some of the health, education, environment and socio-economic development agenda as stipulated in Vision 2020, MDG-based PRSP II and the Health Policy. 
 Consultant Sagnia said that, “It is also expected that through the strategy, the Gambia’s vision of a nation free from sanitation and hygiene preventable diseases of individuals will become more evident over the coming years”. 
According to him, the basic objective of the sanitation strategy is to put in place and promote a sector - wide approach and programme which enhances and facilitates coherent sanitation services.
 Speaking earlier on, Mr. Momodou K. Cham of  UNICEF told the gathering that UNICEF is pleased to be associated with such a programme. 
 In Cham’s words, UNICEF has been collaborating with the government and the civil society organizations in many programmes that are related to children. 
He added that they have also been advocating for children’s delivery services and had participated in immunization campaigns in the country.

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