NEMA to help Gambia set up disaster management agency

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is to deploy two of its technical officers to The Gambia to support the country process towards the takeoff of its National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA).
Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-sidi said on Thursday at the commencement of his three-day working visit to The Gambia to formalize the partnership between the two Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member countries.
Mr. Sani-sidi said the essence of the collaboration was informed by the realization of the strategic importance of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework of Action, The African Regional Strategy and its Plan of Action 2006 – 2015 and the ECOWAS Policy on Disaster Risk Reduction in the two countries.
The Director General, who also met with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Gambia, Chinwe Dike, said the two Technical Officers, who have backgrounds in Planning, forecasting and Search as well as Rescue operations, would be seconded to the Gambia in this month.
The agency, he said, may be considering offering placements to some officers of the Gambia National Disaster Management Agency to enable them participate in a Master’s programme in Disaster Management being offered in six Nigerian universities to strengthen their operational capacity.          
The Executive Director of the Gambia National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Essa Khan said a four-man delegation from the Gambia had paid a study/facility visit to NEMA in 2011 to explore areas of collaborations so as to tap from its vast experience in Disaster Management.
He said the request for technical support and opportunity to learn from examples of best practices in Disaster Management and Warehousing were among of the issues discussed during the visit, adding NEMA is widely acknowledged as the agency with one of the best established structures to handle emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction in Africa.
He said the request to NEMA would strengthen the Gambian National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) in the areas of capacity building, monitoring & evaluation, programme implementation, planning as well as search and rescue.
The Coordinator of the United Nations in Banjul, Gambia, Chinwe Dike said the efforts of the two ECOWAS countries in the establishing the strategic partnership is a welcome development in the spirit of South-South cooperation.

She promised that the UNDP would examine the partnership with a view to render technical and logistical supports where necessary.

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