Crop failure affects almost 150,000 people in WCR
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Close to 150 000 people from five districts in the West Coast Region (WCR) are affected by the 2011 farming season crop failure, says Serign Modou Joof, the coordinator of the West Coast Region Disaster Management Office.He added that one district out of the five, which is situated on the borderline, is the only area that has been less affected.
Speaking to the Daily Observer in his Brikama office yesterday, Joof disclosed that the affected districts are Foni Berefet with 13724 people affected; 19781 in Foni Bintang; while 825 and 6256 people were affected in Foni Bondali and Jarrol districts respectively.
According to him, Kombo South, which is situated on a
borderline, registered a number of 90,066 affected numbers of people and is
listed as the district that is less hit by the crop failure. Joof further stated that in an effort to address the issue,
his office is conducting a multi-sectoral needs assessment of the failure as
declared by the government, which is yet to be completed.
“In order to address the issue, we will be training people
on the methodologies of preventing such disaster,” he said, adding that for the
people who were affected by the disaster nationwide, the World Food Programme
(WFP) Gambia office has already pledged to come up with an initial intervention
for support for them which will last for two months.
The WCR disaster coordinator said that the disaster is serious and has brought food shortages in the affected families, observing that most of the communities that even have better crop harvest do finish their foodstuffs around this time of the year, talkless of when there is bad harvest. “Close to 150,000 people are affected by the crop failure, so feeding them for a period of seven months should not be the business of the government alone,” he stressed.
While calling on humanitarian organisations to join the government and help the affected families to have access to the required food that they need, Joof said that the situation of many families in the region in terms of the need for food is high.
He used the opportunity to thank the WFP for its unflinching support in the efforts to address the problem, and the directorate of the National Disaster Management Agency for mobilising efforts to address the problem. He also thanked the government of The Gambia for its unwavering support to the cause, as well as his office’s data collectors and monitors.
Author: Amadou Jallow