National Disaster Management Project validated
Thursday, February 14, 2008
The National Disaster Management Project was on February 6th, 2008 validated at a one-day meeting held at the Baobab Resort in Bijilo. Organised by the National Disaster Committee, under the Office of the Vice-President and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the workshop is meant to address issues relating to disaster management.
The meeting brought together stakeholders in the management of national disaster throughout the country. The National Disaster Management project is aimed at improving, among other things, national capacities to anticipate and respond to disaster through establishment of a national institution and local structures in accordance with their Action Plan 2005- 2015.
The project is also aimed at developing a comprehensive disaster management framework in the Gambia as well as strengthening the national capacities for integrating disaster risk dimension into policies and programmes. According to the organisers, such an approach is in line with the objectives articulated in vision 2020 and the decentralization process that is currently taking place in the Gambia.
The one-day validation meeting was characterised by extensive brainstorming on recommendations made by consultants on the National Disaster Management Project.
Deputising for the Vice-president and Secretary of State for Women's Affairs, Dr Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy, who also doubles as the Chairperson of the said committee, Mrs Fatou Jassey-Kuyateh, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Vice-president, noted that over the past 10 years the Gambia has experienced a number of calamities. She then added that these unpredicted situations often affect the populations in their daily live.
This can reach to dramatic levels that usually claim lives, adding that the severe floods in 1999 and 2003 in the Upper River Region (URR) constitute a clear indication that efforts should be deployed in order to prevent the country from being hit by such calamities.
For the purpose of tackling this recurrent menace, she revealed that the Government of the Gambia had launched the strategic vision 2020 National Document for the period 1996 - 2020. Mrs Kuyateh acknowledged with deep sense of appreciation over what she called the UNDP Gambia office support to the National Disaster Management Committee and other related disaster incidents in the country.
For his part, Mr Essa Khan, UNDP Gambia Office Coordinator of National Disaster Management Project highlighted the importance of the validation meeting and gave a historical overview of the National Disaster Project and the National Disaster Management committee under placed under the chairmanship of the vice-president.
Author: by Sanna Jawara