The Gambia has new initiative disaster alert system, a technological initiative which is expected to assist the country in its disaster preparedness and prevention strategies from both natural and man-made disasters like climate change.
According to a press release from State House President Adama Barrow on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, received a delegation from Global Alert Network a disaster management technology company based in Germany and the US.
President Barrow hailed the National Disaster Management Agency and partners for rolling out a novel disaster and emergency alert system in The Gambia.
He noted that climate change effects are making disaster unpredictable each year and we need to be better prepared for it.
President Barrow said The Gambia's agricultural production is most affected by natural disasters, especially during the rainy season due to erratic rainfall. He added that several communities suffer from floods each time when such heavy downpours occur.
The visiting officials disclosed that the alert system is a user-friendly mobile technology that will allow the government to monitor and send alerts before disaster strikes. With the new system, information dissemination on disasters or emergencies will be effectively delivered to the public by the government, whilst the NDMA can also mobilise timely and appropriate responses.
Furthermore, the release discloses that Global Alert prides itself in high-quality alert systems that work on cell phones even without any internet connection. It is said that after three months of studies and tests with the disaster management agency as the main partner, it has been proven that the technology is ideal for The Gambia. Hence the company's top executives are in the country to sign agreements to begin work on the ground.
The Gambia will be the first in Africa to use 'Alert Africa', which is a new disaster alert system for the continent. "It works faster than any other technology because it is as simple as a phone call. The alert works in such a way that with a button, every cell phone user gets an instant alert, Felix Scheurpflug, Chairman of the group told the press after an audience with the President.
Mr. Sanna Dahaba, Managing Director of the NDMA explained the signing comes on the heels of his trip to the USA for the CSW where the mitigation mechanisms that Gambia needs were tabled. Mr. Dahaba noted that disaster landscape is changing each year due to global warming. Hence the phone alert system will be of great benefit to the country in terms of mitigating the effects of disasters.