NDMA contributes D1M to Food Shortage Fund
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) under the
National Disaster Governing Council Tuesday donated D1M to the Food Storage
Fund set up by the government to
as a result of this years’ severe crop failures.
The presentation ceremony was presided over by the vice president and minister of Women’s Affairs, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, who is also chairperson of the National Disaster Governing Council, and also graced by Cabinet ministers and other senior government officials. It would be recalled that the government of The Gambia through the Office of the Minister of Agriculture has declared 2011-2012 farming season a failure resulting from severe crop failures and a corresponding soaring of food prices.
Presenting the cheque, Essa Khan, the executive director of
the NDMA, explained that the Agency was established by an Act of Parliament
mandated for coordinating humanitarian assistance, emergency preparedness and
disaster risk reduction in the country, in accordance with international
instruments and procedures in support of our development goals.
He said: “For that being the case, the NDMA was very much
involved in the ongoing food crisis affecting the country and also the Sahel
countries. The government through the Ministry of Agriculture declared severe
crop failures and as a result an appeal was launched. It’s subsequent to this
appeal that both NDMA working in close partnership with the Ministry of
Agriculture and all its humanitarian partners now in the field undertaking the
needs assessment are in a position to really define the problem and to be able
to provide the necessary help to those most in need.”
Khan explained that the assessment is jointly done with the
UN agencies under the lead role of WFP, UNICEF and UNDP working closely with
the Ministry of Health in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene. The NDMA executive director disclosed that they are also
working in partnership with other institutions such as NaNA, looking at the
nutritional situation especially for 0-5 years-old, pregnant women and
lactating mothers. He said his Agency would like to set an example by virtue of
its lead role in humanitarian matters to complement the efforts of the
government to address the needs of farmers and urban poor.
“So, this contribution by the NDMA is in accordance with chapter 12(1) Section 110, and Section 111 Sub-Sections 3 of the NDMA Act. This section will guide the executive director on how to support government in terms of emergency and this assistance according to the Act will help to relieve the persons who suffered injuries and faced damages as a result of the disaster,” he added.
Also speaking at the occasion, Solomon Owens and Abdou Kolley, the ministers of Agriculture, and Fisheries &Water Resourcesrespectively, thanked the NDMA for the move, which they described as a ‘beautiful one’. Like other speakers, Minister Owens described the gesture as timely and hinted that in a few months time, they will be working closely with the NDMA to come with modalities of curbing the situation.
Receiving the cheque, Fatou Ndey Gaye, the minister of Forestry and the Environment who also doubles as the vice chairperson of the NDMA Governing Council, thanked the board and the entire management of the NDMA for the move. She assured that whatever fund has been donated will go a long way in ameliorating the livelihoods of the affected families. She described the move as timely and worthy, while calling on other institutions to come forward and support such a worthy cause.
Author: Sheriff Janko