Monday, May 31, 2010

Media Join Battle on the Way to Wrestle Disaster

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA(MB)-The formulation of the Network of Disaster Management Journalists (NDMJ), according to its top brass is to be part of efforts to provide for an integrated and coordinated disaster management approach to enhance prevention, preparedness respond and mitigation of disaster using its mandate to sentization Gambians.
This was revealed by the President of the network, Mr. Karabulie Conteh at the launching of the network on 28th May 2010 at the Paradise Suites Hotel, in Kololi.
In cognition of the problems associate with disasters and other emergency situations, Conteh said the media can partner with its concerted efforts to prevent, prepare, manage and find solution to frequency disasters in The Gambia.

“The cheapest and perhaps one most effective method in disaster reduction, preparedness and management is the timely dissemination of relevant information to the affected population and more importantly the vulnerable in society,” explained Conteh.
“NDMJ shall explore synergies in collaboration with National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and relevant stakeholders both within and without The Gambia, in the quest to help protect the welfare of Gambians and non- Gambians alike through media sentization campaigns and other ventures deemed necessary,” stated Conteh.
The NDMJ, he continued, shall endeavour to establish genuine relations and partnership with government’s institutions, regional and municipal authorities and their disaster management committee as well as Non Governmental Organisations to ensure maximum benefit from media coverage of disaster management initiatives to assuage the plight of disaster victims.
Conteh told the gathering that the National policy of The Gambia itself recognises the indispensability of media, in promoting strong and safe resilient communities.
He repeated the frequencies of disasters are unprecedented and there impacts are as devastating as the weather patterns have become unpredictable.
On home front, he said The Gambia has been witnessing magnitude of floods and wind storms including fire out breaks in recent years.
Disaster, he explained is impeding the socio-economic advancement of the victims and the nation at large adding that disaster is a natural catastrophe often result in loss of lives, properties, damage to infrastructure and can lead to environmental degradation.
The NDMJ is with the view to engage the media on the basic principles and ethical connotations of crisis coverage, relating their coverage’s to the vulnerable in society while given more attention to women and children, he stated.
Mr. Momodou Fall Vice President of NDMJ talking on the role of the media in disaster management said the network should be fully exploited in packing and disseminating information on disaster management prevention and control saying that the primary role of the media is to inform, educate and entertain the public.
Anther important role, Faal pointed out is to help disseminate disaster management information in a language people can understand, enjoy and translate into tangible actions both at community and household level, while cautioning journalists to report accurate, balance and fair coverage that is timely and should be back with photos and TV footages.

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