Aug 29, 2012, 10:42 AM
The Lower River Regional branch of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) has received directives from the Office of the President to campaign for the relocation of settlers on disaster hotspots in the region ahead of the raining season.
The presidential instruction was communicated to the LRR disaster agency by the acting-executive director of the NDMA, Serign Modou Joof, accompanied by other senior officials from the NDMA at a meeting held in Mansakonko on Saturday.
Mr Joof submitted that the President has questioned the reason for giving disaster assistance repeatedly to several names of people year after year.
“There are names he calls as popular members of beneficiaries of disaster reliefs,” he said.
According to Mr Joof, the presidential orders are meant to discourage people from relying on disaster packages as their way of lives.
On the question of when and how can people relocate at almost the beginning of the raining season, the executive director responded saying relocation will not be imposed on anyone but it should be made clear to those on the disaster hotspots that relief consideration will be based on their own efforts at preventing disaster.
Meanwhile, the meeting was held a day after the LRR NDMA conveyed a seminar in collaboration with UNESCO to train local disaster committees on coordination mechanisms on disaster risk reduction.
The training, according to Lamin Saidy, coordinator of the agency in the region, was meant to energise participants on key risk reduction areas including building community resilience.
Mbassi Sanneh, admin assistant at the NDMA, described the concept of the programme as a step to consolidate their efforts towards hazard mapping in disaster preparedness to minimize the adverse effects of disasters.
She believed that increasing the capacity of communities to prevent, withstand and recover from a disaster could play a major role in reducing the severity of its impact.