By Kebba Secka
Kebba Drammeh, a flood victim and resident of Pallen Wollof in Sabach Sanjal district in the North Bank region of the Gambia, solicits assistance from all and sundry, to rebuild his home which was rendered uninhabitable by the unprecedented heavy rains of 2022. Drammeh who is elderly, heads an extended family with many children, and his main source of income depends on farming.
In an exclusive interview with Foroyaa at his makeshift and temporal residence in Pallen, Drammeh narrated how the flood ruined his resources by washing away all his food stock and other valuable items.
“It was the last heavy rainfall that destroyed my houses to this level, although the structures have not been too good because they were all made up of mud bricks. It is not my choice to have such structures but that was what I can afford. If I have assistance from philanthropists or other people who only invest for the sake of God, I would like to rebuild my houses with cement bricks. This is what I foresee as sustainable in this day and age,” Drammeh said. He aid even though government was yet to announce crop failure for the farming season, some farmers and their National Assembly Members thought it necessary to seek food aid in order to avoid food shortage in the lean period.
This reporter was taken on a conducted tour and observed that no single structure remained standing in Drammeh’s that is fit for residential purposes. Most of the houses have been completely destroyed and the mud blocks have also melted into soil. The other buildings have three quarters of their walls remaining and can be seen lean towards the ground, making them unfit for habitation and risky. When the reporter asked how he was temporally coping with his family, Drammeh responded that he is now being lodge by his younger brothers some of whose houses are not enough for their own families.
“Despite the success I anticipated to get from last year’s farming season, I will still need assistance but I will not keep waiting,” Drammeh said. He however said his main worry is his financial ability to rebuild five new houses before the next rainy season, in order to safely house his family.
“I am not among the flood victims who benefited from the aid distributed by the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), because at that time, my houses were not completely destroyed. My houses were affected during the last rainfall after a data on flood victims were already collected,” Mr. Drammeh said. That later, he noticed the signs of poor harvest, and this was the time he embarked on growing watermelon at the backyard of his compound. He said the plot he used was not big but he earned something that can prepare him for next season.
Anyone who wants to assist Kebba Drammeh can contact Foroyaa Newspaper immediately.