Many disasters are avoidable – says NDMA boss
By Cherno Omar Bobb
Sanna Dahaba, the executive director of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) has admitted that many disasters are avoidable, noting since nobody can stop the rains, the burden on those affected can be eased provided different stakeholder groups work hand in hand.
Mr. Dahaba made the remarks yesterday, Tuesday during the opening of a 3-day workshop on improve coordination and preparedness for the 2023 rainy season based on lessons learned from the 2022 flood intervention in The Gambia.
The workshop, currently underway at NACCUG Training Centre, is organised by NDMA and funded by the World Foof Programme and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Regional Office for West and Central Africa (OCHA ROWCA.).
It brought together governmental, non-governmental and UN actors who were involved in the 2022 flood interventions. The gathering aims to reduce the risk of another humanitarian emergency in the upcoming rainy season.
At least 50,378 people were affected and 7,404 displaced during last year’s July-August flash floods.
Dahaba pointed out the need for governmental institutions, non-governmental organisations and UN systems to join forces and enhance their capacities, skills and improve knowledge to build resilience in the long term.
Malick Ndiaye, deputy country director for World Food Programme, said they recognise the need to reduce the risk of future disasters by enhancing preparedness, coordination and response capacities.
He highlighted that the upcoming rainy season presents us with an opportunity to apply the valuable lessons learned collectively and to employ interactive methods that will strengthen our readiness. He noted that by building on past experiences, they can foster a culture of resilience and ensure the safety and well-being of our communities.
Marie Wagner, information management officer for United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Regional Office for West and Central Africa (OCHA ROWCA), said it is crucial to bring different actors together to talk about last year’s gabs and challenges but also what to do differently this year to improve the response in a more coordinated way and hopefully reduce disaster impacts.
She expressed optimism that participant’s would interact during the workshop and understand the importance of collaboration and work together to help those in need during humanitarian crisis.