The Gambia National Disaster Management Agency

As the incidence and severity of disasters are on the rise, disaster management deserves highest priority. Until recently disaster management was considered a post disaster activity  focusing mainly on rescue, relief and rehabilitation with emphasis on state-centric approaches. In the face of challenges posed by the paradigm shift from rescue and relief operations to disaster prevention and preparedness, the policy paper makes a significant case for deliverable development objectives.

Disaster Management is an important issue that cannot be addressed by the government alone. It calls for a convergence of efforts from both agencies and institutions to undertake various types of tasks at various stages of the disaster management cycle.

National Policy
The Policy distills key recommendations from international conventions and protocols on disaster management and adapts them to the overall country programme. This, in practical terms, should be reflected in a coordinated and harmonized disaster management approach that links national, regional and international strategies.

The Government of the Gambia views such an approach as an extremely important issue because any national policy which is at variance with international standards can have serious implications for the conduct and realization of disaster management goals and strategies. Today, a malfunction in the disaster management mechanism in some remote community in the Upper River Region, for example, could have wider far reaching disastrous consequences elsewhere.

National Disaster Goals

  • Articulate the vision and goals for disaster management in The Gambia
  • Outline the strategic direction to guide the development of disaster management Policies
  • Align the strategic direction for disaster risk reduction with international norms and framework conventions.
  • Mainstream disaster mitigation into relevant areas of activity of Government NGOs and Civil Society Organizations.
  • Strengthen the governance and accountability arrangements in place that support achievements of disaster management priorities.

National Vision
Safer and resilient communities in which the impact of hazards would not hamper development and the ecosystem and the provision for a better quality of life through effective emergency and disaster services.

Strategic Objectives

  • To integrate disaster risk reduction into sustainable development policies and planning;
  • To develop and strengthen institutional mechanisms and capacities to build resilience to hazards
  • The systematic incorporation of international, regional, national and local disaster risk reduction strategies and approaches into the implementation of emergency preparedness, response and recovery.
  • To achieve a comprehensive, all hazard, all agencies approach by achieving the right balance of prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery;
  • Prepare communities to ensure that they are fully equipped to anticipate and respond to disaster events.
  • To promote a transparent, systematic and consistent approach to disaster risk assessment and management.
  • A multi-stakeholder participatory approach including community participation at all levels.
  • Develop a database and information exchange system at national and international levels.