By: Kebba AF Touray
Mr. Lamin Mass, Director of Administration at the NDMA, has told the Legislative Committee on Health that they are working with the World Bank and are expecting about D27 from them to address the problems faced by those in disaster hotpots.
Director Mass made the statement yesterday, 8th February 2021during the commencement of the Select Committee’s visit to Disaster hotspots and COVI-19 Testing Centers.
He said Manjai Kunda is a major disaster hotspot within the Kanifing Municipality, and that the NDMA is working with stakeholders, especially the World Bank, in trying to solicit support to address the problems in this area.
He said: “If you look at the Manjia hotspot, it is related to the hotspots in Abuko and Bakoteh and if we have to address it, we have to view it from a holistic perspective to see how to address the menace, either by putting in stone-pitch around the areas to avoid clogging of the area”.
He said: “We are working with the World Bank and we are expecting about D27 from them. It is on its initial stage, but I believe that before the end of the year, we may come out with something from them”.
Bubacarr Fofana, Regional Disaster Management Coordinator of KM, said several places in Manjai are prone to disaster due to poor town planning, adding some compounds are constructed on water ways and as such they inhibit the free flow of water.
Fofana said: “I think the government has to come up with a decision or policy, as well as work with NDMA to address the problem, because NDMA alone cannot do it. The disaster problems along Abuko, Bakoteh and Manjai are interrelated because they are connected with one stream which stretches all the way from Abuko”.
He added: “All the waters during the rainy season are emptied into this stream, and flow into the ocean, but at some points, this stream also gets narrower and is blocked by debris thus making free flow of water a huge challenge, as well as the reduction in depth as a result of sediments and other materials”.
He further stressed that when it overflows due to too much of rains, the water flows back to the community amidst the low topography nature of the area.
He added: “Government also needs to empower physical planning because the capacity of physical planning and the growing population that we now have do not match. It is important for government to enhance their capacity so that they are able to take certain decisions in planning the habitats”.
Ousman Sillah, the Chairperson of the Legislative Health Committee said the visit aims to help them obtain first-hand information on the nature of disaster hotspots and what mitigating measures have been developed by the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) to ensure that disasters are curbed”.
The tour took the committee to the Manjai, Abuko and Bakoteh Disaster Hotspot areas.