Challenges to disaster risk management in The Gambia: A preliminary investigation of the disaster management system's structure

The alarming increase in the scale and incidence of disasters around the world has been largely attributed to global climate change. Africa like other continents has also experienced its share of disaster, though not on the same scale as countries in Asia, while the scale of disasters in Africa is smaller, the effects on the population is devastating due in large part to the high level of vulnerability in African countries. The Gambia is no exception and is also prone to numerous hazardous events that are exacerbated by lack of capacity in implementing disaster risk reduction measures. The Gambia is in a position to decentralize the government in addition to implement newly created developmental goals. One of these goals is to enhance the nation's disaster risk management system. As such, this paper provides the results of a preliminary investigation of The Gambia's disaster risk management system, with a focus on its organizational structure. Using an action research approach and through the analysis of an online survey and semi-structured interviews with disaster management leadership, this study finds that the current institutional structure of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) should be enhanced to promote more efficient and effective management practices. As a result, a new national institutional structure is proposed that reduces political and administrative inefficiencies at the same time as pursuing the nation's new developmental goals and vision.

Research Interest
Reserach Authors
Rivera, Jason
Ceesay, Atta A.
Sillah, Aminata