Gambia Red Cross gives over D1.9M to disaster victims

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) are currently distributing D195, 000 to the 2017 disaster victims.

The said amount is earmarked for disaster victims in CRR, LRR and WCR respectively. The cash distribution comes as a result of the 2017 flood and windstorm that’s seriously affected the respective households within the regions.

Speaking at the distribution center in Jarra Soma in LRR, the acting secretary general and the head of the Disaster Management and Food Security of The Gambia Red Cross Society, Buba Darboe, spoke at length on the significance of the cash distribution.

He explained that each household will be given and amount of D3650 which is a food basket and would be able to cater the family needs in a month.

He disclosed that 130 families from LRR, 130 from CRR and 40 in WCR were seriously hit by disaster in 2017. “Supporting disaster victims is a right,” he said.  “It is right for them to be supported, and they should not be supported base on what Red Cross has.  They should be supported base on their needs,” he said.

Darboe added that based on the information, they received that almost twenty 9000 people are affected countrywide. He said some houses are completely removed and some were partly destroyed with food items.

The acting secretary general of The Gambia Red Cross pointed out that they were going to do the post distribution monitoring to see whether the beneficiary households are using the fund for the family or individual purposes.

Disaster management, he said, is a role for everybody including the government. “The government is the primarily responsible when it comes to disaster response.” He said, adding that they cannot do it alone, thus called on partners to see disaster management or response as the business of all.

“What is paramount and key is to make sure that the knowledge on disaster management is filter to the grassroots so that they will know how to prevent themselves, and this includes early warning, disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness. Disaster is the business of everybody, it is not only the business of humanitarian Organisation,” Darboe noted.

The regional disaster management coordinator for LRR, Lamin Saidy, said the cash distribution came as a result of a report in their 2017 disaster assessment for those affected. After compelling the report, he went on; we come out with the final report which indicated that about more than five thousand people are affected in LRR.

In order to avoid disaster, Saidy added, we have to build resilience and to avoid settling on the water ways and stop indiscriminate falling of the trees.

Ebrima Ceesay from Misera Kabada and Jalima Mass from Kiang Masembeh both thanked Red Cross and NDMA for the support. They assured that the funds will be used for it intended purposes.

Author: Momodou Jawo