The Gambia National Youth Council (NYC) has on Thursday 11th July, 2019 held a forum called “Urban Thinkers”, to address the challenges faced by urban centers.
This forum will be held from the 11th to 13th (three day), at a local hotel at Kololi, geared to involve young people to identify, assess and monitor disaster risks and enhance early warning as well as to plan and develop strategies for the city we want with our various local government councils, use knowledge, innovation and education to build a cultural of safety and resilience at all levels.
The forum is funded by the United Nations Development Plan (UNDP) the Gambia. This will bring together eight-five (85) participants from the Urban settlement of the Gambia; Banjul, Kanifing, Brikama, Farafenni, Basse, Soma, Janjanburah, Bansang and Kerewan respectively.
According to organizers, the forum will invite young people to send in the proposal on sustainable ways to manage the aforementioned problems of urban settlements. From the submissions made the best 10 proposals will be selected and invited to the forum to further explain their ideas and receive an expert opinion on how to have the proposal successfully implemented.
Lamin Darboe, Executive Director National Youth Council (NYC) said the forum is expected to be platform were they will mobilize, critical, smart innovative ideas from young people in solving the urban challenges.
“urbanization is increasingly becoming a challenge”, he said, adding without proper preparation and planning, and response mechanisms with innovative programs and processes, this he said can lead to problems in the near future.
He added reveled during the rainy reason, there are problems in terms of the drainage, livelihood, markets, in terms of energy among others, and went on, these are challenges that should not be left in the hands of government only.
He, therefore, urged those who have the idea to come out with innovative ideas and find possible solutions, which he said might propel local councils to adopt or propel other partners to work towards the identification of urban challenges.
Fatou Gibba, Director Local Government and Lands said the forum will be a great stage for the country’s to drive towards building a Gambia that she said have a capacity and resilience to climate change-related disasters in the country.
She dilated on the Gambia adoption of the “New Urban Agenda” in Kito Equirdor 2016, which she said is a blueprint expected to guide the future of Urban Development in an accelerating and increasing urbanizing world, also accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.
Young people are often seriously affected when disasters strike and can face severe difficulties in coping with unexpected and traumatic interruptions to their lives. But despite this, the youth are also the very people who can teach their communities and the wider world, how to reduce the risks and impact of disasters.