By Sarjo Camara –Singateh
The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) has disclosed that the recent downpour of rain on Monday 22 of August 2016 has caused severe damages to some houses and community structures countrywide affecting 4633 people and 418 households with one dead in Mbantakiling in Upper Nuimi, North Bank Region (NBR).
This revelation was contained in a report presented by Mr. Alagie Sanneh, the Executive Director of NDMA, in an information sharing session attended by the UN family, agency staff and media which was held in the Library of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Office on the 15th of September 2016.
Mr. Sanneh said the agency needs urgent intervention to address the needs of these affected individuals and communities forcing them to abandon their compounds and using schools as shelter.
“This situation is threatening lives and livelihoods, hence the need for urgent humanitarian intervention to protect lives and livelihoods,” said the NDMA Executive Director.
He said urgent intervention is needed to address this problem as these victims cannot be left to use schools as their homes and secondly schools are about to reopen for students to occupy the learning centres, adding that the government cannot be left do it alone.
Mr. Sanneh said with the support of the European Union, Gambia’s drainage system, in terms of flooding, has been improved, especially those areas that have been mapped out as hot spots.
In his presentation of the disaster pattern in the country, he said “West Coast region was hit with a total of 1028 affected persons, including 24 pregnant women and 261 under five years, amongst other things; Kanifing Municipality 330 persons; North Bank Region with 433, including one death from Mbantang Kiling, Upper Nuimi, and 89 o.5yrs; Upper River Region with 706 including 276 children below five; Lower River Region with 479 persons affected including 13 pregnant women and 34 o.5yrs amongst other things; Central River Region 1609 affected persons including 504 0.5yrs and Banjul 48 affected persons including 11 children.”
The NDMA Executive Director said the total amount of 15,446,256.5 (fifteen million, four hundred and forty-six thousand, two hundred and fifty-six and five butut) is needed to respond to the needs of current disaster victims across the country.
Mr. Alagie Manjang, the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources, said the meeting is geared towards the collaborative efforts of supporting the NDMA to respond to the urgent needs of the disaster victims and also to brief the stakeholders on the current situation of disaster events in the country.
DPS Manjang said the recent incident was marked by destruction of properties and life. He noted that on the part of the stakeholders, it is their responsibility to give support. “I hope this presentation would generate a lot of discussions towards the operations of NDMA,” he added.