By Ndey Sowe
United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has Tuesday, 22nd of June, 2021 handed over wash emergency materials for contingency prepositioning to the Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) response in The Gambia.
The handing over ceremony was part of GRCS and UNICEF, the Gambia programme agreement.
The materials included 500 collapsible water container(10L), 4 collapsible water tanks of 6 cubic meters each, 25,850 water purification tablets, 200 packets of soap powder (bag of 10kg), 50 bleach of (4.5L gallon packed of 3), 10 drums of Calcium Hypochlorite and 75 family WASH and dignity kits.
“These items were secured with funding from the Government of Denmark as part of the Covid-19 response support in the Gambia,” said Gordon Jonathan Lewis, UNICEF Representative.
Lewis expressed his gratitude to the people and government of Denmark for the support, which he said will go a long way towards strengthening national capacities to deliver lifesaving interventions for the children of the Gambia.
“UNICEF and GRCS signed a $118,302 Programme Cooperation Agreement (PCA) to strengthen national capacity for public health preparedness, operations readiness and response during emergencies which will guarantee the provision of WASH supplies,” he said.
Alasan Senghore, Secretary General for Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS), said it is over one year with Covid-19 and the beginning of the rainy season has brought many humanitarian challenges, particularly in the rural areas.
“We have seen the migration from rural to urban which has put some pressure on the amenities and facilities that exist in the urban centers,” he added.
Senghore said the challenges of water, sanitation and hygiene continued to persist in communities and that the government cannot do it alone.
“We at the Gambia Red Cross continue to invest more in providing access to water,” he expressed.
Chaabi Saidy, Director of Water Resources and Lamin Dampha, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, commended UNICEF for the timely intervention and their continuous support and collaboration to improve the welfare of children and women in the Gambia.
Both called on all partners, especially the GRCS, to work hand in glove to chlorinate and maintain their water systems for sustainability and to ensure quality standards of potable water supply in the beneficiary communities.