A three-day community first aid and disaster risk reduction training was yesterday hosted at Tallinding Bantaba on the theme: Changing minds, changing lives in response to mitigating disaster.
The training was organised by The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) in partnership with the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Gambia Fire Rescue Services (GFRS) and the National Youth Council (NYC).
Representing GRCS, Isatou Joof-Jeng said the training came at the right time when the country is entering in the rainy season and with some disasters already being experienced in CRR and URR.
She said they are currently supporting 400 families that were affected by windstorm in the form of shelter and household items. “These volunteers are from communities and they are usually the first people to respond when disaster strikes,” she added.
National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) regional coordinator Ngange Jeng said disasters within Tallinding and its surrounding communities are mostly human injuries mainly caused by people settling in waterways or poor construction.
He said NDMA encourages collaboration with institutions that are very important when it comes to DRR and disaster reduction within the municipality. “We must understand the implications of disaster within the municipality and device measures to its negative impact.”
Assistant chief fire operation commander at GFRS Samba Jacob Jarjue said communities are the backbone of the fire brigade when it comes to disaster mitigation, saying they are the people who are always affected when disaster strikes. “This is why we are always on the TV, radio and community gatherings to sensitise people and give out the contact numbers of the fire service.”