Fishing boats lined up at Port de Peche on the coast of Nouakchott, Mauritania
By Ragy Saro
Nouakchott, 26 July 2018 – Five cities from Mauritania have completed disaster risk resilience assessments and have started drafting people-centred city action plans in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction – the global plan for reducing losses from disasters.
The news came as local government delegates and representatives from across Mauritania came together in efforts to enhance their communities’ human security through localizing disaster risk reduction.
“Today five cities in Mauritania have taken concrete steps to integrate the concept of human security in their overall city planning”, said Mr. Sujit Mohanty who heads the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s (UNISDR) Regional Office for Arab states.
The efforts are part of a joint project by UNISDR and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support of the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security focused on localizing disaster risk reduction in both Mauritania and Tunisia.
The plans will take into account social, environmental, political, health and economic risks as recognized in the Sendai Framework, Mr. Mohanty added.
The Framework, adopted by member states in 2015, calls for a people-centered and recognizes the need to focus on communities, and their most vulnerable members, as a crucial element to ensure their safety and security.
“Community participation and engagement is very important. The aim is to save lives [and] therefore, a people-centred approach has to be taken when implementing any disaster risk reduction activity”, said Ms. Fatimatou Abdel Malick, Mayor of Tevergh Zeina and one of the beneficiary cities of the ongoing project.
“Enhancing the resilience and capacities of local governments to natural hazards through the implementation of people-centered disaster risk reduction action plans will help communities overcome not only disasters but health, food, environmental and economic insecurities as well,” said Ms. Mehrnaz Mostafavi the Chief of the UN’s Human Security Unit.
The project titled “Enhancing Community Resilience and Human Security of Vulnerable Communities in Urban Settings through the Implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030” will run from 2017 to 2019. The project targets the cities of Boghe, Kaedi, Tevergh Zeina, Rosso, and Tintane in Mauritania, as well as Bousalem, Gabes, Kasserine, Mateur, and Siliana in Tunisia.