The senior coordinator of UN CADRI Mission on Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery Team to The Gambia has lauded the country’s anti-disaster emergency rapid preparedness and response.
Hachim Badji, who led a two-man delegation from UN CADRI Mission based in Geneva, Switzerland, was speaking to reporters Wednesday shortly after meeting VP Njie-Saidy at State House. He acknowledged that the country has good act, policies and National Plan of Action for DDR and Climate Change Adaptation.
He said: We are surprised to see how much has been done so far. The idea now is to start building capacities and implementing for people to better understand concepts of risk reduction, which is not that simple when one links it to development in the long-term. So a lot of good work has been done in the Gambia as the scene is now set for to start implementing.”
Badji explained that their aim is to support countries and UN country teams to develop their capacity on disaster risk reduction, adding that their mission is to sit together with national authorities in the country and see how they can advance DDR in the country.
He further acknowledged that a lot of work had been done in the country so far in terms of building capacities for rapid emergency preparedness and response, positing that the idea is now to see how they work more in the area of prevention.
He said that they also want to see how they can integrate risk reduction measures into the development planning looking at the long-term, so that all the investment they are working with regards to the country’s development are not washed way by future floods hazards.
He added: “It is good to prepare and it is good to be able to respond to disasters, but we really need to think about the long-term. How do we ensure that all what we do in terms of development is sustainable and that it can help build resilience towards the next natural hazard that might hit us.”
While stressing that DDR is everybody’s business, Badji disclosed that they do investment and development in all kind of areas such as agriculture, health, education, tourism and energy.
He further stressed that all these investments need to be resilient to natural hazards. “So you need to work with all different sectors and ministries involved in development in general and each of them look at in their specific areas and how their investment can be safeguarded,” he added.
He disclosed further that NADMA will be helping all different agencies in bringing them to discuss around national authorities to see how they can address national resilience building of their respective countries.