By: Alagie Cherno Suwareh
The recent signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) and the National Environmental Agency (NEA) signifies a collaborative effort to implement various environmental policies and regulations.
Lamin Dibba, the Councilor for Old Bakau Ward and Chairman for KMC Environment Select Committee, emphasized the importance of protecting the environment for its sustainability and the well-being of all. “If you look at the ranking of African countries, Gambia is the seventh (7th) dirtiest country in Africa. This is alarming. We have seen an increase in Malaria cases over the years due to bad environmental practices,” he stated.
Dibba welcomed the partnership between KMC and NEA, expressing optimism that the collaboration will facilitate their work and enhance law enforcement. He urged councilors to diligently work towards achieving the goals outlined in the MoU, aimed at addressing growing concerns about environmental health issues.
The MoU is expected to strengthen the existing relationship between KMC and NEA, as both institutions share similar responsibilities in protecting and preserving the environment. Malick Bah, the Director of Technical Services at NEA, commended the longstanding relationship between the two entities. “NEA was established by section 9 of the National Environmental Management Act as the principal body responsible for the coordination of environmental management in the country, including the regulation of environmental protection. The agency is not involved in the direct implementation of environmental policies but ensures their coordination and regulation,” he clarified.
Paa Sait Ceesay, the Chief Executive Officer of KMC, viewed the signing of the MoU as a significant milestone in reinforcing the council’s commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy environment. “Environmental protection is a national issue, and everyone should contribute to safeguarding our environment and natural resources,” he argued.
Lamin Camara, the Manager for Anti-littering at KMC, also appreciated the agreement, considering it a positive step towards addressing environmental health concerns. “The council didn’t have clear-cut laws to reprimand or pursue any environmental violations. Now that we have the opportunity from NEA, I must thank them for taking the bold step in working with the council. This is a welcoming move in our dispensation. We clean, and others make it dirty, but we didn’t have the cooperation of the public. Having this MoU has scaled up our work to another level,” he explained.
Overall, the partnership between KMC and NEA is expected to facilitate the implementation and monitoring of environmental resilience initiatives, contributing to sustainable development and the preservation of the environment.