Gambia-Unesco signs project to use drones to limit impact of natural disasters

On the margins of the second high-level United Nations conference on South-South Cooperation, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Dr. Mamadou Tangara and Ms. Jean-yves Le Saux, director, Bureau of Strategic Planning, Unesco, on Thursday 21 March 2019, signedthe project “using drones and early warning systems for pre and post floods disaster management in The Gambia.”

The project is a grant of $1,165,048.00 (one million, one hundred and sixty five thousand, forty eight cents U.S. dollar) to be funded by the government of India through the India-UN fund.

In his remarks, Dr. Tangara pointed out that: “The Gambia has been encountering a number of disaster management challenges which include managing floods especially river in flooding which has affected a population of 57,912 in the past four years. This has a significant impact on the country’s GDP, social infrastructure and ability to achieve the SDGS. The country continues to face capacity gaps in early warning systems to be better prepared in order to reduce the impacts of these hazards.”

Therefore, as a country laying entirely within a river basin, he said, the support of India and Unesco are key to ensure our scientific and technical preparedness to mitigate and avoid flood disaster. 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, he added.

“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,” Dr. Tangara said. “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.

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 UDMA and Unesco within 2 years.

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

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