Lamin Saidy

Regional Disaster Coordinator


The Gambia – National Disaster Management Agency

The Gambia is vulnerable to periodic climate hazards, because of its location in the arid Sahel Zone between the Sahara Desert and the coastal rain forest. The subtropical climate has a distinct hot and rainy season from June to October, and a cooler dry season from November to May. Understanding that environmental hazards can result in serious socioeconomic and human threats, has changed the disaster management agenda in order to respond to some critical challenges relating to disaster risks reduction.

Furthermore, vulnerability to disasters in The Gambia is accentuated by unregulated urban and rural planning. The impact of floods (especially flash floods) on local populations is aggravated by improper land-use planning and unmaintained drainage and sewage systems. These development challenges have contributed significantly to the high degree of exposure and vulnerability of the country and local communities to climate-related and human-induced hazards, among others. Given the fact that risk is a combination of hazards, vulnerability and exposure, it is therefore evident that The Gambia is exposed to high risk and particularly susceptible to negative effects of climate change, particularly those induced by weather-related hazards.

The Gambia government has taken committed initiatives to develop the national capacity for disaster risk reduction, beginning with the creation of the The Gambia – National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) in 2008 under the Vice Office of the President.

This strong national commitment has been reflected in various recent measures to develop disaster management under an institutional framework with a proper legal, policy and programme basis.

The following goals are been set out for effective coordination of DRR and Climate Changes matters.

  • Articulate the vision and goals for disaster management in The Gambia from the National to the Sub-National Level.
  • Align the strategic direction for disaster risk reduction and Climate Change with international norms and framework conventions.
  • Mainstream disaster mitigation into relevant areas of activity of Government. Sub-national, NGOs and Civil Society Organisations.
  • Strengthen the governance and accountability arrangements in place that support achievements of disaster management priorities
  • Integrated Urban and Coastal Resilience Project
  • Provision of weather insurance coverage for drought. This is done using Africa RiskView (ARV), the ARC’s software application developed to define the country’s drought risk, manage the risk pool and trigger disbursement of funds.
  • Development National and Regional Disaster Contingency Plan

Alliance members can learn about our work through partnership building and strong collaboration as well as information sharing. We will be ready to partner and learn from other Alliance members in this aspect.

We stay informed about city-level climate finance through partnership engagement and collaboration with Ministries and Development Agencies within and outside The Gambia. This is done through trainings, meetings and other forums.

We hope to gain capacity building, advocacy and training in terms of City Level Climate Finance. With technical guidance from the Alliance, we also hope to implement Projects on resilient infrastructure.

As a new Alliance member the National Disaster Management Agency will effectively collaborate and promote the Alliance’s work in City level Climate Finance within The Gambia and by extension beyond.