Training of Trainers on Urban Risk Reduction and Making Cities Resilient for Gambia

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Africa
National Disaster Management Agency (Gambia)
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Office in Incheon for Northeast Asia and Global Education and Training Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction

Senegambia Beach Hotel

Background and Introduction

Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and much more. At their best, cities have enabled people to advance socially and economically. Yet now that half of the world’s population live in cities, making sustainable and resilient cities - amidst a changing climate, rapidly depleting resources, and unplanned urbanization - is one of our greatest challenges and opportunities.

The engagement of cities and local authorities has been at the forefront of discussion in many of the global forums including the Third UN World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in March 2015 when 187 UN member states adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 – the global blueprint for disaster risk reduction (DRR). Cities are key to tackling local risks and it is highly encouraged for cities to build resilience through sustainable and inclusive development – development that addresses the root causes of existing risks and prevents the creation of new ones. 

Through the Making Cities Resilient (MCR) Campaign, launched in 2010 with an aim to increase political engagement and raise awareness on disaster risk reduction at the local level, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has been supporting the local governments in reducing risk, addressing sustainable development challenges, and to achieve target ‘e’ of the Sendai Framework and indicator 11b of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), i.e. the development of DRR strategies and action plan.

In Gambia, the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) is the Gambia Government’s authorising agency responsible for disaster risk reduction, including coordination and implementation of all preparatory measures against hazards and disasters and coordination of humanitarian interventions. The agency is rebranding itself by focusing on resilience building and disaster preparation than emergency response due to several reasons, including but not limited to the country’s vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events, underdevelopment and social inequality. These challenges have increased the vulnerability of many people to environmental challenges by living in urban slum communities, violation of building codes and construction on water ways, poor agricultural yields due to salt water intrusion, coastal flooding and psychological fear as a result of potential sea level rise, especially in the City of Banjul.

Building the resilience of the cities, especially at the grassroots level, depends on the country’s ability to mobilizing socio-economic as well as political support from local authorities and community leaders. Instilling this culture of collaboration for sustainable resilience building require a series of capacity building exercises, targeting policy leaders from the government (sectors and departments), local government authorities such as Mayors, Governors and council officers, national and local NGOS, the media, youth and women leaders.

Recognizing this need, the NDMA is partnering with UNISDR to conduct a residential training on “Urban Risk Reduction and Making Cities Resilient for Gambia” from 8-10 January 2019.

Overall, the training course will provide an opportunity for participants to:

  • Understand the implications coherence of the Sendai Framework, Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and integration of disaster risk reduction in development processes and investments: from the global frameworks to local implementation
  • Understand the Making Cities Resilient Campaign, the New Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient, and Disaster Resilient Scorecard for Cities (self-assessment tool)
  • Conduct a self-assessment exercise using Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities and develop the draft baseline snapshot on local resilience building
  • Explore cases on the integration of disaster risk reduction into urban and sectoral development policy, investment, and implementation
  • Understand the methodology, practice developing disaster risk reduction plan, and apply the monitoring and evaluation framework in the planning process
  • Exchange in-depth learning from experts in the related areas and share good practices among participants and discuss in-country challenges and opportunities in building resilience

It is expected that the trained cadres be able to replicate the training and further enhance the capacities of local governments in Gambia on disaster risk reduction action planning and support local governments in making cities resilient and sustainable in the future.

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