Know Your Public Institutions

With MUHAMMED SAILU BAH Welcome to another edition of know your public institutions, a column which seeks to create awareness on the Banjul Disasternature and work of public institutions in the Gambia. This edition is a continuation of an exclusive interview with the National Disaster Management Agency Coordinator for Banjul Hudul E.N. Colley on the causes of the recent disaster destroying houses in Banjul caused by the wind storm. He was also able to us how people can promote community resilience. Foroyaa: Can you tell us about the recent Disaster in Banjul? Banjul Disaster Coordinator: the recent disaster was caused by Wind storm, but it is because of improper roofing and most of the houses that were demolished by the wind storm are old storey buildings so therefore, when the wind came the roof was not strong enough to resist the wind. Most of the victims affected are tenants; most landlords don’t give proper care to renovation of their roofs. Some of them will just come and roof the top of their storey buildings with roofs that are not strong. Some other people were affected because of the roof top of others that flew over to their compounds or roofs. Foroyaa: How can people avoid such kind of things to happen in the future? Banjul Disaster Coordinator: People should try and take good care of their buildings to avoid disaster. One should try and roof a house properly in other to avoid heavy storm blowing it away. People should work on preventing disaster before it strikes, because disaster can destroy all what you have built up for many years. We should always put preventive mechanisms in place. Disaster is a cross cutting issue therefore, everyone has a role to play. People should try and renovate their houses properly. People should also try and be cleaning their drainages in other to avoid flooding. If we want to be safe in our environments we should always work on having preventive mechanism to avoid disaster. Most of these disasters are human induce that is they happen as a results of Human activities so therefore disaster can be prevented. Trees are also very important in our environment, because they have a multi-purpose. They can serve as shades that can be used by people as a resting place; trees help in preventing erosion and also help to serve as wind breakers which can help to protect us from disaster. Banjul doesn’t have enough land to grow enough trees but we can try and at least grow trees or take good care of the trees available. Disaster Risk Reduction is a cross cutting issue, so therefore am urging all CBOs, NGOs, and institutions to consider putting disaster management in their plans. Disaster Risk Reduction is more cost effective, than waiting for disaster to strike. We should also try and build up community resilience, if you love your country, it is very important to consider disaster risk reduction.]]>