Angus Lambkin, team leader of the United Nations Disaster Assessment Commission (UNDAC) who were in the country for the past weeks has described the Executive Director, National Disaster Management Agency, (NDMA) Sanna Dahaba as a national asset whose tremendous efforts has greatly impacted on the overall work of the team in the Gambia
He added that the mission has completed a three (3) weeks disaster assessment in the country and has collaborated with the NDMA to draft a report of its findings in the country.
He made this observation at a joint press conference hosted by NDMA, UNDP, and UNDAC in Banjul, where he said the United Nations Agency will continue to work with the Gambian Government and the NDMA to address the findings contained in the report.
According to him, the UNDAC mission has noted all the impacts of the disaster on the livelihoods of the Gambian people as well as identifying the effects of the disaster, noting that it will continue to collaborate and support the government and the NDMA to address the issues contained in the report.
He commended the Executive Director of the NDMA for the effective leadership manifested during these trying times, observing that the NDMA Chief is a national asset whose institutions need the support of Shareholders in addressing the situation.
For his part, NDMA Chief has commended the UNDP and UNDAC for their proactive role in supporting the agency to prepare such an important report. He noted that the findings of the report include issues surrounding waste management, infrastructure, public health, sanitation, and education among others.
He revealed that the Gambian Government has formulation short, medium, and long-term plans to mitigate disaster risk in the country, noting that in the short-term government has distributed over six million dalasis (D6million) worth of food items to victims across the country and currently engaging in cash distribution amounting to eight million dalasis (D8 Million) courtesy of Gambia Government, World Food Programme (WFP) and the NDMA.
According to him, in the medium and long-time plans government has secured a forty-five million dollars ($45) climate resilience fund that will address the issues of the Kotu Stream that stretches up to Abuko plus other communities with KMC and West Coast. He added that Gambian Government has also applied for more than $80 loan from the Government of India with the view to holistically resolved disasters in the country.
He added that the report will greatly help NDMA to address the various issues identified as far as disaster risk and mitigation are concerned, noting that the agency will also continue to work with stakeholders in finding solutions to the emerging risks and recurrence of disasters in the country.
UNDP Country Coordinator in the country also commended both NDMA and the UNDAC Teams for the collaboration and drafting of a report that will greatly inform the authorities to make sound decisions in addressing matters, affirming that his office will also continue to work with all stakeholders including other UN Agency that are also on the ground to support victims across the country.