Oct 23, 2008, 6:22 AM
Suu Federation, local partner to ChildFund The Gambia, yesterday commenced a
two-day disaster risk reduction training course for its board members, staff,
field workers and senior management team.
Kaira Suu Federation, which is also working with five community associations in Sanyang, Tujereng, Jambanjelly, Sifoe and Tanji, held the training activity at its Jambanjelly office in Kombo South District.
The training course was conducted by Binta Sey-Jadama of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA).
Kebba Cham, programme manager of Kaira Suu Federation, in his welcome remarks, said the training session was meant to create awareness on disaster, prevention, mitigation and risk reduction as the rainy season is fast approaching.
He said as a federation they usually try to address the needs of people in the community, especially their sponsored children.
He added that they feel it is fitting to first know what disasters are, map out the risk areas in their operational area and then look at the strategies they have to put in place.
Mr Cham added that they would continue to work with the NDMA and ensure more training courses are conducted not only for board members and staff, but also for their various communities.
“I hope this is the beginning of our link with NDMA,” he said, adding that it should continue for the good of all.
He also urged the participants to pass on the information and the knowledge derived from the training course to their various communities.
Momodou Jallow, ChildFund area regional manager, in his opening statement, described Disaster Risk Reduction as a household name and something they live with in development.
For them at ChildFund, disaster risk reduction is something they pay special attention to, he said, adding that anything they do in terms of implementation with their partners in disaster risk reduction they give it thorough consideration.
Over the past years, some special NGOs put more emphasis on relief, but, of recent, since they live with disaster due to climate change and other man-made factors, it has become necessary to apply mechanisms for prevention, mitigation and adaptation in anything they do, he pointed out.
“A butut spent in preventing disaster is better than a dalasi spent in relief,” he stated.
He added that their approach at ChildFund is putting more emphasis on how they could prevent disaster.
Once the training course is concluded, they would be able to understand what the existing disasters within their environments are, be able to determine the causes and once they understand the causes they would be able to prepare a positive response to adequately respond in case disaster strikes, he went on.
Mr Jallow encouraged participants to look at how to mainstream disaster risk reduction into their everyday operations.
He said once they neglect disaster risk reduction in their operations, “then it becomes very unsustainable.”