Turkish engineers visit flood prone areas
By Cherno Omar Bobb
A four-member Turkish engineers’ team is currently in the country for a week-long site visit to flood prone areas in West Coast Region and Kanifing Municipality.
The team from Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) is in the country courtesy of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) under the Office of the Vice President.
The visit comes following a visit to Turkey by former Vice President Badara Alieu Joof, where he had meeting with TIKA officials requesting for assistance. The request was made in view of last year’s floods that hit parts of Greater Banjul Area and West Coast Regions, among others.
Established in 1992, TIKA was formed with the objective of providing technical assistance for developing countries while also forging closer relations with them in areas of economy, trade, technology, culture, education and social development through implementation of projects and programs.
Welcoming the delegation at his office on Monday, Sana Dahaba, executive Director of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), described the initiative by the former vice president as one of his biggest legacies.
He expressed appreciation with the indigenisation of the entire process, saying any technical information obtained on the ground will outface with local knowledge.
NDMA boss acknowledged that the best way to support is to interface external assistance with indigenous knowledge that would help the entire flood process.
While thanking the Turkish Government through TIKA, Dahaba assured the delegation of their support to facilitate the process.
Serign Falu Njie, Development Adviser at the Office of the Vice President, said the former vice president was very much concerned about the issue of disaster management and had always emphasised the need to addressing the root causes of disaster.
He informed that the number of people affected by disasters over the year has increased exponentially in The Gambia, stressing the need to put in measures urgently do better it.
“We therefore look forward to working with you and hope that after the field visits, we will have a better understanding of what the issues are and together sit and finalise a proposal as partners,” he stated.
Dawda L. Ceesay, permanent Secretary and Head of Admin at the Office of the Vice President expressed gratitude to TIKA and Turkish government for their support over the years.
He revealed that the former vice president believed that with the havoc being caused by floods, they needed to take a different approach and also look for external support.
The delegation’s visit, he added, demonstrates Turkish government resolve to help the government of The Gambia.
Gerher Ebru Cevihezlu, head of delegation, said they look forward to seeing the flood prone areas, saying they are here to prepare a technical report and see what comes out of the report.