Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) on Monday December 25th, embarked on cash
transfer to 130 households flood victims in the Central River Region (CRR). The
cash transfer is being funded by the Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) funding
project. Similar programme is also ongoing in Lower River Region (LRR) and West
Coast Region (WCR).
Speaking to this reporters shortly after the exercise, the acting secretary general of The Gambia Red Cross Society and head of the Disaster Management Unit, Buba Darboe said the project is D1.2 million dalasis project targeting 130 families in CRR, 130 families in LRR and 40 families in WCR respectively, noting that the project aimed at supporting flood victims in order to mitigate lives and livelihood.
“The money is not for a single person but to ensure family heads to provide the basic needs for their families such as feeding and proper health care in order to help to recover from the devastation of the disaster” he said. He pointed out that disaster respond is human right but not a choice of help, saying that any disaster affected person has the right for assistance from humanitarian organisations and other agencies. He stated that government’s primary responsibility is to help disaster victims in the country and then supported by organisations and The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) is an auxiliary body to the government which helps in addressing victims’ challenges.
“Disaster respond is not a matter of giving resource any how the donors want; however, the basic needs of the victims should be considered. The victims’ needs are best known when disaster assessment is carried out,” he said.
The regional disaster coordinator, Bubacarr Fofana commended the Turkish Red Crescent through The Gambia Red Cross Society for supporting the disaster victims in the Country), noting that the gesture was timely and would help the flood victims to recover some of their damages during the phenomenon. He said Red Cross has been partnering with the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and described them as good and genuine partners in development. “The gesture is not given to single person in a family it is provided to ensure the disastrous resources are replaced; therefore I advise you to make the best use of the money so as to benefit you,” he concluded.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, one Musa Sanneh hailed GRCS and their donors for the wonderful gesture, saying the donation was timely and significant in helping the flood victims recover from the disaster they have encountered during the last rainy season.
“However I have many things to tackle with the money due to the down fall of my house during the rainy season. Despite the numerous challenges with me, I will use the money for it intended purposes”, he said. Sanneh called on governmental institutions and NGO to emulate GRCS for the gesture so as to help the flood victims as well as farmers because there are many hurdles affecting their livelihood.
The regional branch officer of the CRR Red Cross Branch, Pa Musa Kejira, said the Red Cross is a movement operating in 198 countries across the globe with different components; including the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and the National Society (NS) such as the Gambia Red Cross Society, which intends to raise funds, capacity building on disaster preparedness and respond as well as other humanitarian operations.