#National News

NDMA, IOM conduct disaster simulation exercise in Kerr Ali

May 24, 2022, 12:10 PM | Article By: Sheriff Janko

Managing situation in times of disasters could sometimes pose serious challenge to communities and even stakeholders involved in disaster response. In view of its multi-faceted nature, responding to disasters also requires rapid multi-stakeholder response to save lives and minimise colossal damage to properties.

It is against this backdrop that the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) in partnership with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) recently conducted a disaster simulation exercise in the North Bank Region settlement of Kerr Ali.

The exercise, which lasted a little over two hours, saw different stakeholders in action namely, Gambia Police Force, Police Intervention Unit, Gambia Fire and Rescue Services, and The Gambia Red Cross Society. In a nutshell, the exercise is designed to sensitise communities and stakeholders and demonstrate how best the role is of each of these stakeholders in disaster response efforts.

Addressing the gathering shortly after the exercise, Sering Modou Joof, deputy executive director of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), extended sincere thanks and appreciation to all the stakeholders who in participated in the exercise in one way or the other.

He indicated that people have a great role to play in disaster response; the lives they save may be their own.

“NDMA as an institution is not only here to respond to disasters, but we are also here to create and develop the mindset of the people, so that they can play their rightful role in society. Disaster prevention should be everybody’s business, I may be affected today, but who knows who will be the next to be affected.”

Joof noted that it is ‘our collective’ effort to share and exchange ideas with a view to supporting disaster officials in terms of preparedness.

He reminded that looking at the metropolitan nature of Farafenni, where almost all businesses are run by foreigners, there may come a time when people would want to take their destiny in their own hands.

“And in doing so, if it is not carefully done if could bring about conflicts. So when it happens how are we going to manage it?.

Also speaking, George Andrews, programme assistant at the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), lamented the dynamic pattern and nature of migration, saying this simulation exercise is crucial in preparing the mindset of people ahead of real conflicts.

He lauded the United States government for their effort in supporting IOM organise the day’s exercise.

Papi Njie Tunkara and Abdoulie Jarju, councilor of Farafenni Ward and regional health director in North Bank Region respectively, thanked all those who participated in the exercise.

Both lauded the efforts of the National Disaster Management Agency and the International Organisation for Migration for their tireless efforts in saving lives and property.

Jarju challenged communities in the area to make the best of the newly distributed community ambulance to serve it purpose.

Musa Kanteh, deputy governor North Bank Region, also spoke at the ceremony.

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