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NDMA holds consultative meeting

Nov 17, 2014, 10:21 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) recently organized a day-long advocacy and stakeholder’s consultative meeting with their actors at the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) conference hall along Bertil Harding Highway.

In his opening remarks, the Executive Director NDMA, Lt. Colonel Alhagie Sanneh, said the consultative meeting was not a training workshop but instead a gathering to remind one another on the roles and responsibilities of NDMA and, by extension, the collective responsibilities and roles of each and everyone both as individuals and institutions.

He said the structures for proper coordination are available; however, the synergies from the different playmakers, particularly government institutions, for effective and efficient coordination to harmonize efforts is still inadequate.

The NDAM boss told participants to bear in mind that where coordination and cooperation exist with gaps, the tendency to limit the functionality of the NDMA and its partners become obvious.

It was his belief that the meeting would bring out critical observations that would serve as lubricants, to ensure smooth collaboration, cooperation and shared support among the disaster stakeholders, Lt. Col. Sanneh added.

He said the establishment of structures such as the National Platform as a multi-sectoral body stands clearly to explain that disaster management requires a collective multi-sectoral approach, so as to ensure that Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is a national and local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation.

The meeting was meant to provide them with opportunities to interact as a family of stakeholders in disaster management in the country, and develop or revive the strategies that would strengthen their respective roles and responsibilities to synchronize their individual benefit, he added.

He said effective and efficient coordination are essential to make this possible, adding that until this was done, there would be much on the side of coordination and or management of disasters in the country which has the potential to pose a threat to achieving the overall national goals and objectives.

While NDMA operates as an independent institution, Sanneh added, they must remain cognizant of the primary lead role of NDMA, its relationship with other disaster partners and their collective roles and responsibility.

Francis Abanzi, Head of Programmes at the World Food Programme office in Banjul, said for NDMA to carry out its duties well, it requires the full participation of its actors; thus the level of coordination and collaboration is very important here.

Abanzi urged the participants to share the knowledge gained at the meeting with those who did not have the opportunity to attend.