By Ndey Sowe
The Network of Journalists on Disaster Risk Reduction Gambia Chapter (NJDRR) was launched on Friday, 2nd of July, 2021 at NaNA Conference Hall, Bakau.
The NJDRR Gambia chapter comprises Gambian journalists who specialize or want to specialize in disaster reporting. It is affiliated to the National Disaster Management Agency- The Gambia, ECOWAS, AU, and United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) on the implementation of African Union roadmap on implementing the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
The network aims to educate and inform the public on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in The Gambia.
Jainaba Sonko, Communication Officer for NJDRR- Gambia Chapter, said the network is conscious of the need for Gambian journalists who specialize on disaster risk reduction to come together to from a common front with development partners in the quest to sustainably and continuously disseminate information pertaining to DRR in The Gambia.
She added that the network is open to all Gambian journalists who specialize on disaster and disaster related issues as well as all those who want to specialize in DRR.
Sanna Dahaba, Executive Director for National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), said as part of their efforts in raising public awareness on disaster risk reduction for safer and more resilient communities they are pleased to be associated with the aforesaid network.
Dahaba said the network will benefit the Gambia in its commitment towards regional, continental and global DRR framework. He said the Gambia as a country is a signatory to the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015- 2030, therefore by extension, The Gambia is supposed to implement activities under the guidance of the African Union Programme of Action for the implementation of the Sendai Framework and the ECOWAS DRR.
“The occasion marks a big milestone for us as a country and the agency in particular because not only we are mandated to coordinate and manage all forms of disaster, but having a mutually beneficial relationship with the network will help us reach our target of infiltrating hard-to-reach communities,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Network National Coordinator, Cherno Omar Bobb, the Secretary General of NJDRR, said the network aimed at building the capacity of Gambian journalists to improve their skills and knowledge in reporting disasters and its related issues.
“Despite the challenges, members of NJDRR, particularly the executive, had attained remarkable efforts to register this reputable organisation under the Attorney General Chamber at the end of 2019,” he noted.
Representatives from United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), African Union Commission, ECOWAS Commission and Disaster Risk Reduction Association of Journalists (DIRAJ) commended the Gambia Government for their support in having the network of NJDRR- Gambia chapter. They assured their full support to the network and hope for a fruitful and collaborative relationship between them and the network.