The Gambia is taking action on climate change adaptation, addressing its vulnerability to flood disaster risks by establishing a state-of-the-art, end-to-end early warning system. UNESCO is providing technical expertise to develop the system, which will benefit from the latest technologies, such as drones, as well as strengthened coordination and communication networks based on local knowledge and response capacities. The project is implemented, thanks to support from the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, by UNESCO in coordination with the National Disaster Management Agency. It was launched on 17 July in Banjul.
“The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lists The Gambia among the 100 critical countries most vulnerable to climate change and particularly susceptible to weather related hazards,” reminded Vice President Dr Isatou Touray, as she opened discussions. Congratulating partners on their support, she pleaded to all stakeholder to act through this project to protect lives and assets from such potential loses.
Project planning workshop. Photo: UNESCO
The launch was followed by a technical workshop, held on 18-19 July. Planning and coordination activities were led by the project management team, with the participation of technical officers from various public agencies in the Gambia that will participate in project activities. Thanks to a budget of $1.2 million over a period of 2 years, this project will purchase technology, including drones, telecommunication equipment, water and weather measurement and analysis tools. It will also design and roll-out a process for data collection, integration, analysis and communication of alerts or requests for action; and establish a blue print early warning system including plans, trainings and drills to enhance preparedness.
At this project’s conclusion, The Gambia will be able to deploy drones and other technologies for disaster and climate risk assessments, as well as for rapid identification of damage to the physical environment and of endangered individuals in post-disaster situations.