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Disaster a cross cutting issues - NDMA boss

May 28, 2010, 2:23 PM | Article By: Manlafie Badjie

The Executive Director of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Mr. Essa Khan has said that disaster is a crosscutting issue, which is linked to development.

Mr. Khan made these remarks recently at the start of a two-day sensitisation of 21 Ward Councillors in Kanifing Municipality on the National Disaster Management Act/Policy, 2008.

He told the participants that disaster in other way round do protect development as it helps to reduce vulnerability of some of the development undertakings. This, he said, is the reason why his office is trying to mainstream Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) into development.

While asserting that DRR can bring development opportunities, he said, it can also hinder development.

According to him, when people are poor, disaster can make them even much poorer.

Noting that his agency has developed an institutional framework for disaster management in the country, he said the National Disaster Management Act 2008 provides guidelines in disaster management operations.

He noted that the actors need to be sensitised especially the community leaders, adding that the NDMA's Act was designed to protect the communities, protects development gains and above all, creates sanity in all disaster management apparatus in The Gambia.

Those people who are supposed to implement the Act need to know it and if they don’t know it they might be operating outside the ambit of the law, he lamented.

He expressed hope that at the end of the training they would also sensitise their people on the provisions of the Act.

Mr. Khan said the same sensitisation is in pipeline for other stakeholders in society, including the media on the National Disaster Management Act 2008.