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Gambia— UNESCO sign project to use drones to limit the impact of natural disasters

A 2018 flood victim in Basse being interviewed by proprietress of Kerr Fatou
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According to Gambian authorities, Riverine Flooding has affected a population of 57,912 in The Gambia in the past four years.

A 2018 flood victim in Basse being interviewed by proprietress of Kerr Fatou

The Gambia and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) have signed a project “using drones and early warning systems for pre and post floods disaster management”.

The project was signed on Thursday on the margins of the second high-level United Nations conference on South-South Cooperation in Argentina by Gambian foreign minister Dr. Mamadou Tangara and Ms. Jean-yves Le Saux, Director, Bureau of Strategic Planning UNESCO.

The project is a grant of $1,165,048 (one million, one hundred and sixty five thousand, forty eight cents US dollar) to be funded by the government of India through the India-UN fund.

In his remarks, Tangara said Gambia has been encountering a number of disaster management challenges which include managing floods especially Riverine Flooding which has affected a population of 57,912 in the past four years.

This, he added, has a significant impact on the country’s GDP, social infrastructure and ability to achieve the SDGS. Tangara said Gambia continues to face capacity gaps in early warning systems to be better prepared in order to reduce the impacts of these floods.

“Therefore, as a country laying entirely within a river basin, the support of India and UNESCO are key to ensure our scientific and technical preparedness to mitigate and avoid floods. The initiatives using drones and early warning systems for pre- and post-floods disaster management in The Gambia shows the highly practical and impactful nature of South-South partnerships,” said Tangara.

“I firmly believe that the project can make a real difference in addressing the capacity gaps, helping to save lives, build resilience and support the achievement of sustainable development goals in The Gambia. Both the republic of India and UNESCO have been important partners of The Gambia over the years supporting a number of our important development projects and initiatives.

“Consequently, on behalf of the Government and People of The Gambia particularly, the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), I would like to warmly thank and appreciate the Government of India and UNESCO for their support. I also recognise and thank Ambassador Syed and his team at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN.

“I assure you of the commitment of the Government of The Gambia in providing the enabling environment needed for the implementation of the project and it is our strong hope that all stakeholders would continue to work hard to ensure speedy and successful implementation of the project.”

The project was facilitated by the Permanent Mission of The Gambia to the United Nations, New York, on behalf of The Gambia National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and would be implemented by NDMA and UNESCO within 2 years.

The ceremony was witnessed by Hon. Ebrima Ceesay, Secretary to Cabinet, H.E Syed Akbaruddin, Permanent Representative and Ambassador of India to the United Nations, H.E Lang Yabou, Permanent Representative and Ambassador of The Gambia to the United  Nations, Ambassador Abubacarr Jah, Deputy Permanent Secretary and Director, for American Affairs Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Momodou Ceesay, Director General, Internal Audit, Mr. Jorge Chediek, Director UN office for South-South Cooperation and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for South-South Cooperation and Ms. Lidia Brito, Director UNESCO office in Montevideo, Uruguay.

END

Issued by Communication Unit Ministry of Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad

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