As one of the smallest countries in Africa, Gambia lies almost entirely enclosed in the middle of Senegal on the African west coast and stretches along the more than 1,000 km long river of the same name, after which the country was named. The delta and river landscape of the Gambia are popular tourist destinations. Nevertheless, the state is one of the poorest on the continent, largely dependent on agriculture. Gambia has been experiencing a steady influx of rural population into the cities for years. More than half of the total population now lives near the coast in the capital Banjul and other cities and towns such as Serekunda and Brikama. Government and municipalities are facing many challenges, and in particular environmental problems: valuable forest is being cleared to make room for housing and cabins. This in turn increases the risk of soil erosion during heavy rainfall. Uncontrolled urbanization also raises infrastructural problems and the risk of disease.
PSUP Contributions and Achievements
Phase 2 of PSUP is currently being implemented in two areas - the Greater Banjul Metropolitan Area and Brikama, within the Western Region district. The Government established a national PSUP budget and is providing additional funding to the project. To prioritize slum upgrading at the national level, PSUP has been included in the United Nations Development Action Framework (UNDAF). This is a programme document between a government and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) that describes the collective actions and strategies of the United Nations towards the achievement of national development. Gambia is an example of national ownership building for the other PSUP countries, as it has built a very strong set-up with diverse communities and female participation, with one of the women leaders acting as a national focal point. The Government of Gambia is committed to providing secure tenure and legislation review and has also initiated a country team to steer the programme’s activities.