Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"CU Has Redirected Its Focus…," Director

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The Country Director of  Concern Universal,  Madam Patricia Wall, has pointed out that with increasing vulnerability to climate change and the increase in the impact of hydro-meteorological disasters, Concern Universal has “redirected its focus” in addressing risks by strategically considering climate change adaptation in all risk reduction and mitigation interventions.                                                                  
Citing an example from the past four years since 2007, Concern Universal has been involved in the annual flood response with its partners across the country. 
  Ms. Wall made these remarks when she opened the two days workshop on the Establishment of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in mid- March, 2011 at the Senegambia Beach Hotel. 

She added that as a development and humanitarian organization, they are also challenged by increasing urbanization, which, in turn, contributes to the increase in urban risk.
 She said it is evident that urban risk is complicated by increase in vulnerability to flood risk. 
“It is therefore in our interest and that of the most vulnerable to invest in sustainable flood risk management in the urban areas,” she noted. 
  She disclosed that currently, Concern Universal is running Disaster Risk Reduction projects, addressing climate changes that undermine community resilience.  
 She added that interventions in these projects include water and sanitation, environmental protection, livelihood improvement and disaster management training in local languages.
Examples are sphere training and contingency planning for local communities in Mandinka, Fula, Wollof, Jola, and contingency planning. 
  She said that they are also cognizant of the anthropogenic factors that also contribute to increasing flood risk most especially indiscriminate waste disposal. 
She noted that, for this reason and many others, CU’s flood risk management strategy  highly places the invigoration of existing sustainable waste management systems, and the provision of capacity building for communities to take the lead in the process.
  She indicated that the effectiveness of CU’s investment in Disaster Risks Reduction (DRR) has been vividly manifested in a cost benefit analysis survey conducted by one of their donors, Oxfam America.
“I can therefore confidently state here that CU and its partners within the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) will continue to support communities and government in the drive to increase sustainable resilience to climate related disasters and hazards,” she said. 
  According to her, the most recent funding secured by CU is geared towards addressing increasing climate change vulnerability, through sustainable flood risk management, “An amount of Euro 188,000 has been secured from EU ECHO to tackle flood risk in the KMC area,”  the Country Director revealed. 
In an effort to build local partner capacity, CU, the gathering was also informed,  has created a learning and sharing forum called CU with its partners Humanitarian Country Team (HCT).             
  Membership of this consortium comprises local NGO’s and CSOs that have long and strong relationship with CU, and are working in the different administrative regions of the country. 
She noted that HCT is also another coordination apparatus in which project implementations are discussed, and also experiences and knowledge shared.  

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