Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Dr. Isatou Touray, Gambia’s Vice-President, has disclosed that the country is among hundreds critical countries most vulnerable to climate change.
“According to the Inter-Government Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) list, the Gambia is among the hundreds critical countries most vulnerable to climate change and particularly susceptible to weather related hazards,” she said during the launching of the India-UN Development partnership fund project held here Wednesday.
The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) initiated this project titled ‘Using Drones and Early Warning System for Pre- and Post- Floods Disaster Management in the Gambia”.
“Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for majority Gambians. The constant floods affect the livelihoods of more than 70% of the population anytime it occurs.
“The UN had projected in its UN Country Team Harmonized Framework of support to The Gambia that in 2018, 43,000 persons will require direct lifeline support and 350,000 people shall be affected by disasters includes loss of productivity and food insecurity,” Dr. Touray was quoted as saying.
Since 2015, The Gambia has been encountering a number of hazards affecting lives and livelihoods, but flooding (riverine flooding included) has been one of the major threats to the country with a significant increase of victims, she stated.
She noted that the average annual increment in populations affected by floods (Riverine Flooding included) was 72 percent which has a significant impact on the country’s GDP and other social infrastructures.
However, the vice-president revealed that the country faced limited financial and material resources to address these problems before and after occurrence of disaster, adding that the project was significant in contributing to disaster preparedness through an effective early warning system.
“The projects’ plans signify its aim to develop the capacity and readiness of the country in deploying drones to undertake disaster and climate risk assessment and expect rapid identification of damage to the physical environment and of endangered individuals to post- disaster situation.”
“The government is committed to regional and international frameworks on disaster risks reduction and management include sustainable development goal, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction ( DRR) 2015- 2030, AU programme of Actions for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework and Ecowas Regional Strategy for DRR,” she affirmed.
She pointed out that, as a result of this effort, it was really important for government to initiate such project with UNESCO to inform and build the capacity of the citizens.
She said considering the country’s vulnerability to climate change and limited resource to address it; there was need for institutions to partner with government so coverage of early warning system network that assured the populace was informed about potential disaster.
She vowed that her office with partners would create enabling environment and necessary human resources capacity for NDMA to ensure the project was implemented and sustained.
-0- PANA MSS/RA 17Jul2019