By Olimatou Coker
The Network of Journalists on Disaster Risk Reduction Gambia Chapter (NJDRR) has recently been launched at NaNA Conference Hall, Bakau.
The Network of Journalists on Disasters Risk Reduction (NJDRR) The Gambia chapter comprises Gambian journalists who specialize or want to specialize in disaster reporting. It is affiliated to the National Disaster Management Agency- The Gambia, ECOWAS, AU, and United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) on the implementation of African Union roadmap on implementing the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
The network aims to educate and inform the public on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in The Gambia.
Speaking, Jainaba Sonko, communications officer for the network, explained that some members of the NJDRR-Gambia Chapter had begun specialising in reporting on disaster and its related issues to disseminate information rightfully to the masses. In July 2020 the network secured funds from The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) to sensitise the public on the COVID-19 pandemic.
She added that during the execution of the project, the organization in partnership with the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and Ministry of Health successfully held radio talk shows on Q-radio, GRTS and various community radios stations across the country which immensely contributed to raising public awareness on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sanna Dahaba, executive director National Disaster Management Agency, said that information sharing is a crucial component in disaster risk management as it serves as an early warning system mechanism before a disaster occurs.
He said as part of NDMA’s efforts in raising public awareness on disaster risk reduction for safer and more resilient communities, the agency will be associated with NJDRR.
He said the network will benefit the Gambia in its commitment towards regional, continental and global DRR framework. He said the Gambia as a country is a signatory to the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015- 2030, therefore by extension, The Gambia is supposed to implement activities under the guidance of the African Union Programme of Action for the implementation of the Sendai Framework and the ECOWAS DRR.
“The occasion marks a big milestone for us as a country and the agency in particular because not only we are mandated to coordinate and manage all forms of disaster, but having a mutually beneficial relationship with the network will help us reach our target of infiltrating hard-to-reach communities,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Network National Coordinator, Cherno Omar Bobb, the Secretary General of NJDRR, said the network is aimed at building the capacity of Gambian journalists to improve their skills and knowledge in reporting disasters and its related issues.