Joining the dots at all levels – Nouakchott, Mauritania
Interview with Dr. Saleck Ahmed Sherif, Nouakchott Focal Point
What are the greatest challenges facing your city?
A: One of the biggest challenges that we face is the institutional challenge between the national and local levels and the things that each find important which differ from body to body. In order to work effectively, we need to understand the sentiments of each actor. In addition, when regimes change it can be disruptive to our progress.
We also have the challenge of building understanding within the community and organizing relations between different sections. This includes ensuring Arab and French speakers have access to English documents.
Then of course, there is the financial challenge of implementing the plan of action.
How has the Making Cities Resilient Initiative helped you to overcome these challenges?
Through the Making Cities Resilient Initiative, we have been able to augment the engagement with all the different actors engaged in the process and increase coordination between them. This will help us to streamline our efforts and have a more consolidated approach.
What are the key strategic considerations going forward?
Through this project, we hope to increase awareness among the government and society about disaster risk reduction and strengthen capacities of the relevant sectors in this area. We are aiming to integrate risk reduction into development plans, policies and strategies and we need to make sure that the action plan for our city is consistent with the national strategy.
Above all, our objective is to make the city sustainable and environmentally safe in the face of disasters.
What next for your city?
We have already drafted our action plan. Next, we need to finalise the plan and submit it for validation. Then we need to communicate and look for financing. We are hoping to finance some of it by integrating it into urban development programmes and providing funding through local budgets. Some activities will also be executed in the form of existing projects.
Note: Since recording the interview Nouakchott has successfully finalized and endorsed their Action Plan, and moved to the next step of implementation.
Nouakchott, Mauritania, is one of 20 cities taking part in the “Making Cities Sustainable and Resilient” project, funded by the European Commission and jointly led byUNDRR to support municipalities to develop and implement disaster risk reduction action plans.