The United Democratic Party (UDP) has in a statement expressed its solidarity with all those that have lost family members, suffered damage in properties, or have been affected by the rainstorms of last night – July 7th, 2021. The statement signed by UDP’s leader Ousainou Darboe states that the people affected by the windstorm are “all in our thoughts and prayers”. Below is the full statement.
UDP stands in solidarity with all those that have lost family members, suffered damage in properties, or have been affected by the rainstorms of last night – July 7th, 2021. They are all in our thoughts and prayers.
UDP calls on the Gambia Government to act with all deliberate speed to comfort the afflicted and to provide relief to the people whose dwellings and possessions have been devastated by the windstorms. The damage is huge and widespread, affecting people that are already struggling to get through daily life.
To compound the misery, the rainy season is the most challenging period for the majority of our population. Trapped in poverty, most people have exhausted the little food and financial resources they have scrounged together from their previous harvests.
Disaster preparedness is now part and parcel of the mitigation and adaptation strategies to combat global climate change. NDMA and the Ministry for Climate Change must act swiftly to assist all those affected by this disaster.
While it is true that no one can prevent natural disasters from happening, planning and preparedness can significantly mitigate the adverse impacts on poor and vulnerable families particularly in rural communities. As such all public policy-making must factor in the consequences of climate change and put in place measures that will accelerate investments in building resilient communities.
In the last few weeks, we have seen the Banjul City Council (BCC) and the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) cleaning the drains in preparedness for the rains and annual flooding of the Greater Banjul Area where the majority of the nation resides. These efforts need to be fully supported by the Central Government through the allocation of resources specifically earmarked for such eventualities.
The disappearing forest covers and the devastating impacts of climate change require that the Government put in place an integrated and comprehensive policy framework to avert further disasters.