The Laying of the Foundation Stone of the Construction of MECCNAR Office Complex

Statement of Hon.Minister Lamin B. Dibba, Abuko 17th August 2019

 

Your Excellency the Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray

Hon. Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service

Hon. Ministers and Cabinet Colleagues

Permanent Secretaries and

Deputy Permanent Secretaries and Senior Government officials

Lord Mayors and Regional Governors and their Delegations

Imams and Alkalolo

Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps

Representatives of key implementing and executing institutions

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All protocols duly observed

First of all, I would like to welcome you all to this short yet auspicious event, the laying of the foundation stone of our office complex here in Abuko, which formally commences the construction works of the new Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources complex, envisioned not only to house the Ministry but also our line departments: the Department of Forestry and the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management.  

The new office complex provides an opportunity for the Ministry to work closer to problems confronting the country in the area of environment and natural resource management including climate change. The location of this office was a deliberate choice intended to give meaning and focus to our work.

Amongst other important activities institutionalised on this site, it was here that the renowned British national, Edward Brewer set up and ran the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center, coupled with other conservation efforts. Mr. Brewer’s commitment and personal scarifies has laid the foundation for the establishment of similar wildlife protected areas across the country including the River Gambia National Park, where the remnants of the Chimpanzee population still live.

 

The Environment Ministry is rising to the challenges posed by not only the changes we see in the environment and natural resources management but also to the expectations of our wide ranging stakeholders who now need little effort in reaching out to both policy makers and technocrats.

This is what is needed in this age of accelerated environmental and climate change impacts. Environment and natural resource issues are cross-cutting and concerted efforts to halt the impacts of current changes on the lives and livelihoods of human communities is paramount It is important that institutions that are in the forefront of that challenge coordinate as we will see within this new office complex.

It is in this vein that Government has prioritized the project in order to bring together the major Government actors in the sector under one roof. Funded by the Government of The Gambia through the National Forestry Fund under the Department of Forestry at a tune of D77, 709, 702.05 and to last for two years, the construction project has been awarded to Lerr Group, a Gambian registered construction company. The eco-building will comprise of three (3) floors and thirty-three (33) office spaces and other facilities, with the Ministry and two the Departments occupying an entire floor each. The works are to be supervised by the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, who have also been very instrumental in the whole sanctioned process leading to this day.

Our gratitude therefore, goes to the Government of The Gambia under the leadership of H.E. President Adama Barrow, as capably represented here today by H.E. the Vice President, the ministries of Finance and Works, and all those who have so far been involved in this process. I cannot conclude by extending special thanks to the entire staff of my Ministry and line departments for the tireless efforts in making this day and our future workplace a reality. We look forward to taking possession soon.

I thank you all.