He added: “It is important to remember that Banjul is the capital of the Gambia and the only city in the country. It is the seat of the government and home to the leading referral hospital in our country. Therefore any occurrence of major disaster anywhere in the Gambia will have an impact on the city. So this calls for more attention to the requirements of Banjul and should be given due consideration.”
Mayor Bah made this plea on Wednesday at the end of a six-day training on regional contingency planning for humanitarian assistance held at Banjul City Council. The workshop which validated the Banjul Municipal Contingency Plan was organised by the National Disaster Management Agency in partnership with World Food Programme and funded by the European Union.
Also speaking at the closing ceremony was the WFP country director and representative, Mrs Victoria Ginja. She told the meeting: “We have reviewed the current capacities, roles, responsibilities and limitations in terms of preparedness and response measures and the preparedness and mitigation actions.
“Definitely we have made significant strides and being together helped to address the challenges and identify gaps and best practices based on our own experiences in dealing with natural hazards when they strike, what we did was part of the package of improving the culture of prevention, preparedness and rapid response.
“I am sure that we will become more equipped, more alerted in how better can mitigate the risks instead of just reacting to natural hazards when they occurs.”
Mr Lamin S Tamba, head of programmes and operation, NDMA, said the main objective is to prepare a city contingency plan to facilitate, make cities and regions resilient to local disasters.
He added: “The participants identified the local hazards and risks, mapped local risk and hazards and consulted with experts and finally developed a contingency plan that might avoid the impact of the future disasters in their area.
“Methodology used to develop the contingency plan was fully participatory across all aspects of the exercise. Technical experts were invited from various state actors and non-state actors, including municipalities, regional disaster management committees, government institutions, non-government organisations and civil society, working for the municipal disaster management committee in the their respective areas. Activities included: local risk ranking; mind mapping; scenario building; communication strategy development; and the establishment of the contingency team.”
Mr Tamba noted that due to the frequency and magnitude of disaster events in the Gambia, the need for this contingency plan is crucial.]]>