By Adama Tine
The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) has revealed that more than 180,000 people were affected by natural disasters from 1 June to 23 December 2021.
According to the report by NDMA, “188,546 persons from 11,567 households were affected by natural disasters in The Gambia such as wind storms and flash floods including fire outbreaks, which they said was the highest ever number of people affected on record.”
The report added that “40,574 of the affected population were internally displaced with 22,225 being male infants, 22,125 female infants, 4,908 differently abled persons, and 14,221 pregnant and lactating mothers. Over 1,858 were left without clean drinking water and proper sanitation.”
The overall population affected per climate hazard is 136,006 as windstorm victims and 49,936 accounted for flash floods.”
“Damages to critical infrastructures include places like Kuntaur, Samba Kalla, Njaba Kunda and Kolior,” the report adds.
“No list of educational facility is yet to be reported by the Ministry of Education officially, but reports indicated huge damages to educational facilities across the country,” the report further said.
The report also said that NDMA Lower River Regional Disaster Coordination Office reported the damages to the following educational facilities in the region: Burong Lower Basic school in Kiang West District, Wellingara Ba Lower Basic in Kiang Central District, Kanikunda Lower Basic in Jarra West District, Sankandi Arabic School in Kiang West District, Jattaba Arabic School in Kiang West District and Medina Angalleh Community School in Kiang Central District.
Meanwhile, NDMA responded to 1,952 households across the country with a transfer value of D22,500 for each household.
The report disclosed that Government of The Gambia allocated over D50 million for emergency response for the storm surge that hit the country on the 7th July 2021, leading to loss of lives, damages to social and critical infrastructures and the death toll as at the date was more than 18 lives lost, including the fire disaster at the Bilal Arabic School.
The report shows that support is needed for major critical infrastructures in schools and hospitals in collaboration with the line ministries the soonest.
“More losses to food stocks have been recorded, with farmers experiencing erratic rainfalls; this calls for more support from government and partners on food security,” the report also said.
On intervention, officials of NDMA disclosed that Government of The Gambia together with partners provided humanitarian support to the most affected households across the country.
“The Brikama Area Council through the West Coast Regional Disaster Committees on Disaster Coordination and Response donated D500,000 which supported 20 households in the region for a period of 3 months at a transfer value of D7,500. The Gambia Red Cross Society mobilized over D13 million to support over 500 households through unconditional cash transfer for food and shelter,” concluded the report.