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NDMA validates disaster risk reduction report

Jan 27, 2012, 1:18 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) recently held a two-day validation workshop to review and validate the agency’s draft report on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

The workshop, held at the Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo, aimed at reviewing and laying a comprehensive framework strategy that would enhance and pave way for a more sustainable long-term disaster risk reduction in The Gambia.

After declaring the workshop open, the executive director of the NDMA, Essa Khan, spoke on the partnership between the Government of The Gambia and the UN in Disaster Risk Reduction strategies by developing national capacities for disaster management in 2004.

“NDMA has been capable of advising and assisting the government in preparing and responding to disaster and our response capacity has been very much enhanced. We need to go upfront and therefore engage more into reducing disaster risk in order to reduce the impacts of disasters in our populations and on our investments in the development of the country,” he stated.

The Gambia government through the office of the Vice President and the NDMA has taken steps in this regard by preparing a national strategy for disaster management and risk reduction for 2008-2011.

The NDMA boss admitted that a lot has been consummated in implementing this strategy. He added that the engagement of the government in DRR has been acknowledged in different international organizations like ECOWAS and UNISDR during the global platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.

“By Looking at these successes, The Gambia Government is now moving to the next higher level in disaster risk reduction,” Khan remarked.

He finally indicated with the support of the UN, the Office of  Vice President, the NDMA and the participants, they would work hand-in-glove to use the report and recommendations to prepare a new long-term strategy and an operational plan for disaster risk reduction.

Hachim Badjie, senior coordinator for CADRI, indicated that the role of CADRI is to support all the UN agencies in taking approaches to Disaster Risk Reduction.

She dilated on the aim of the validation workshop, which was to review and make some recommendations that would have all other elements in the report.

“Once the report is validated it would be used as an action plan for the NDMA in Disaster Risk Reduction,” he opined, adding that in The Gambia, people’s capacities have been built on many occasions on DRR strategy,” she said.

He attributed most of the disasters in Africa to man-made ones, saying that in yonder years there used to be waterways and good drainage systems in the society, which recently became blocked by human activities.

“People deliberately build on areas they know is flooding, which causes disasters,” she said.

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