Tuesday, October 3

National Assembly committee chair calls for steps to minimise flooding

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By Binta Jaiteh

A National Assembly member for Kiang East has proffered ways to minimising flooding and other natural disasters, as the rainy season commenced.

Speaking during a committee meeting at the parliament complex in Banjul, Honorable Yahya Gassama said there is need to put in place effective strategies to minimize the occurrence of flooding and other natural disasters, noting that they are all part of climate change (global warming) impacts, “I, therefore, urge everyone to stop deforestation and growing more trees.”

“I am not aware of any flooding anywhere yet and also my committee is not informed. Regarding the intervention of NDMA, there mandate is to respond to natural disasters and take appropriate actions to support victims and to help mitigate the impacts. They have budgetary support and they know where to secure funds to do their work,” he said.

According to him, on the causes of flooding, there are myriad of causative agents, both natural and human and a ‘thesis’ would be needed to explain all of that. Adding that, if we are to focus on the human causes because that aggravates the magnitude and impact of flooding.

He went on those human activities that lead to flooding include a clearing of the vegetation and deforestation for various reasons such as for farming, settlement, fuel wood collection and charcoal burning, road construction, construction of impervious layer over the soil surface such as concrete and tar. So, while deforestation exposes the soil to rain thus encouraging run-off, concrete pavements and tarred surface prevents the soil from absorbing the rains, both trigger floodings,” he added.

Honourable Gassama however urged victims of flooding to contact NDMA for emergency assistance and to avoid further flood damage, they should relocate to safer areas, adding “I would like to add that as part of medium to long term solution people should avoid settling in areas liable to flooding it is difficult to control nature.”