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Concern Universal launches emergency response project

Nov 15, 2010, 1:34 PM | Article By: Lamin Darboe

Concern Universal in The Gambia and Senegal last Friday launched its Oxfam America funded project to respond to the recent "large-scale" flooding in The Gambia.

In her statement on the occasion, held at the conference hall of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisation (TANGO) in Kanifing, Patrice Wall, Concern Universal Country Director, said a six-month flood response project is being supported by Oxfam America with a grant of US$43,567.

"This seeks to promote hygiene and distribute water and sanitation kits in affected areas, provide building materials and cash vouchers for those made homeless by flood, support advocacy campaigns between the civil society and local authorities to bring an end to the settlement in flood-prone areas, and design community response mechanisms for the floods," she said.

She also said that a recent Concern Universal assessment carried out with support from Oxfam America has revealed that over 33,000 people have so far been affected by the flooding across the country with over 9,000 displaced from their homes.

The worst-hit regions are KMC, West Coast Region and the Upper River Region, Ms Wall said, adding that structural collapse of houses due to their construction in flood prone areas with poor quality building materials has resulted in the displacement of many families.

She said the project, which will target 500 internally displaced families, will be implemented by NGO partners of Concern Universal, such as Trust Agency for Rural Development (TARUD), Saint Joseph's Family Farm Project (SJJP), Njawara Agricultural Training Centre (NATC), Wuli Sandu Development Agency (WASDA), and Kanifing Municipal Council Disaster Management Committee.

"Concern Universal is committed to the close collaboration with government agencies in the endeavours to create community disaster resilience to disaster risk," Ms Wall said.

For his part, Essa Khan, executive director of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), described Concern Universal as real partners of the NDMA.

While commending Concern Universal for the initiative, Khan assured them that the project would go a long way in supporting flood victims in the country.

For his part, Yankuba Colley, the Lord Mayor of the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), applauded Concern Universal for supporting flood victims in the country, saying the support will aid a lot of flood victims.