The Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), in collaboration with the Joint Operation Centre (JOC), Gambia Ferry Services, the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), and other stakeholders, recently conducted a ferry disaster response simulation exercise at the new Banjul ferry terminal. The simulation exercise aimed at raising the awareness of the general public on how to address and respond to disasters when they strike.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the exercise, Binta Sey-Jadama, on behalf of the executive director of the NDMA, said the simulation was meant, among other things, to know the strengths and weaknesses within the country in case of any disaster. "We selected the simulation for people to know how the response will look like and there will be lessons learnt after in the exercise," she said.
Asked if there are plans to organise similar simulation exercises in future, Sey-Jadama replied in the affirmative, saying disaster can happen anytime and anywhere.
Lamin Sanyang of the Joint Operation Centre (JOC) described the exercise as crucial and organised, and meant to test all stakeholders to disaster response. He said the exercise gave them the opportunity to look into the areas that need adjustment and improvement. He explained that they mapped out the ferry for the simulation because ferries are a concern to many people.
Amie Secka-Njie, assistant safety manager at the Gambia Ports Authority, who doubles as the acting chairperson of the Simulation Exercise Committee, said the GPA management was very committed to the organisation of the exercise. He thanked the security services, Red Cross, and everyone that participated in the exercise.