THE REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT THE GAMBIA GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON &PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ON DIASPORA AFFAIRS
STATE HOUSE, BANJUL
Press Release Dated: 23rd March, 2023
United Nations, New York, USA—His Excellency, the Gambian Vice President, Muhammed B S Jallow, has underscored the importance The Gambia attaches to the preservation of water and its commitment in forging and fostering relationships with regional, global and state entities to map out lasting solutions to the world’s water problems.
Addressing a UN Water Conference in New York yesterday, VP Jallow told world delegates that: “The Gambia stands ready to cooperate across borders in finding lasting solutions to a water crisis that poses an existential threat to human civilization.”
Mr. Jallow drew lessons and inspirations from The Gambia’s visionary leadership at independence leading to the establishment of The Gambia River Basin Organization (OMVG) with Senegal, Guinea and Guinea Bissau. He enumerated its numerous benefits especially, in the areas of clean energy, access to clean potable water and the potentials for increased agricultural activities.
Vice President Jallow informed the global body of his country’s strategic geographical location, benefiting from both The Gambia River Basin and the Senegalo—Mauritanian Aquifer Basin (SMAB), one of the most productive transboundary sedimentary aquifer systems in Africa shared with Guinea Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal.
According to VP Jallow, “because of this unique geographical advantage, The Gambia relies on over 90 % (ninety) percent of its domestic water needs from the groundwater and mainly, tapping from the upper aquifer.”
However, the Gambian Vice President cautiously observed that despite its strategic location, the country still faces significant challenges in terms of excessive and concentrated groundwater abstraction, especially, in the urban areas where the water demand is highest, with potential risks of overexploitation.
On the The Gambia’s vulnerability to the impacts of Climate Change, VP Jallow recalled the ravaging windstorms of 2021 and the devastating floods in the summer of 2022 that led to numerous deaths, displacement of families, loss of properties and unprecedented hardships in both urban and rural settlements.
Conscious of the realities of climate change and its riveting effects globally, VP Jallow told the UN Water Conference, that The Gambia
has recently embarked on significant sectoral reforms and legal milestones to mitigate the potential dangers associated with this looming natural catastrophe.
Addressing a United Nations’ Side Event on ‘Transboundary Water Cooperation’,
Fisheries and Water Resources Minister, Honourable Musa Drammeh, outlined The Gambia’s unflinching commitment to international treaties with its recent ratification of two major UN Water Conventions on ‘Transboundary Cooperation’ for sustainable peace and development in the region.
Vice President Jallow is accompanied by the Ministers of Fisheries & Water Resources, Health, Environment & Climate Change, The Gambia Government Spokesperson and the Permanent Secretary, Vice President’s Office.
The Gambian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, His Excellency Lamin Dibba, accompanied VP Jallow and delegation to the UN Water Conference.
Ebrima G. Sankareh,
The Gambia Government Spokesperson
Presidential Diaspora Adviser