By Momodou Jarju
Saturday’s heavy downpour which continued till Sunday morning has caused flooding in the Greater Banjul Area (GBA), with reports on social media especially on Facebook, indicating destruction of houses and properties.
Drone footage captured by Alhagie Manka of State of Mic shared by scores of Gambians show massive flooding in compounds in the GBA. In a drone video Manka shared on his Facebook platform, people were seen in one of the compounds scooping the water from their verandah and pouring it out to the compound around Kotu/Manjai Bridge.
Scores of Gambians took to social media to express their opinions about the situation and proffered their commiserations with the victims.
One Musa Touray wrote on Facebook in part: “I call on the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) to conduct [a]swift disaster survey on the affected areas and, without wasting much time, compensate the victims for the loss and damages.”
Talented Gambian musician, ST indicated on his Facebook page that the flood is an unfortunate reminder that climate change is real and the authorities need to put in climate resilient mechanisms to protect communities.
He wrote in part: “This is a time for us to show love and support each other. Any little help can make a great difference to our most affected families and communities.
“We also need to reflect and renew our commitment to protecting the environment. That is why at ST Foundation, we have committed ourselves to planting at least a million trees over five years.”
The deputy speaker of the national assembly, Seedy SK Njie also strolled around to inspect the aftermath of the downpour.
He wrote on his Facebook page: “I met distressed families in the KM and West Coast Region to commiserate with them as they begin to count the cost of the devastating rains. I prayed for them and assured them that His Excellency President Adama Barrow is fully aware of their plight and that emergency aid is on the way. Please continue to keep our people in your prayers.”
Meanwhile, a dispatch from the office of The Gambia government spokesperson published on official Facebook page of the Department of Information Services (DOIS), indicated that VP Badara Joof and several line ministry officials visited various localities and communities affected by the inclement weather that has wreaked havoc across various communities in the country.
“Communities visited since early morning include Ebo Town, Bakoteh market area, Serrekunda market, Churchill’s Town and Sukuta and Sukuta Nemasu areas.
“Meanwhile, the bridge between Kotu and Fajara Traffic Lights Area is submerged and motorists and members of the public are urged to avoid that bridge until the water level subsides to safety level. The police have sealed the area as a precautionary measure.
“President Barrow and the First Family are aware of what is happening and their hearts go out to all communities and persons affected by the floods. VP Joof who is in charge of national disaster is being accompanied by the Chief of Staff, the Government Spokesperson, Ministers of Defence and Interior, the Police, Army, the Navy as well as other essential entities of the state.
“This is a developing story and the Government Spokesperson Ebrima G. Sankareh will be updating the public on the strategic actions of the state in mitigating the effects of this unprecedented deluge,” the dispatch indicated.