By Alieu Ceesay
On Saturday and Sunday 30th to 31st July 2022, a non-stop downpour of rain left a number of households flooded within the Kanifing Municipality including Bakau “ Farokono” and “Tippa Garage” to name a few. Residents could be seen bailing buckets of water out of their buildings with rain water left with no exit routes but to return to their compounds.
Yesterday, many Gambians at home and abroad woke up to videos and concerns of people who could hardly sleep given the non-stop rain and the flood water entering their living rooms. This forced numerous Government Leaders to conduct tours in areas affected by the flood. Most notably Vice President Badara Joof embarked on a tour alongside the Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure Hon Ebrima Sillah and the Mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council Talib Ahmed Bensouda.
The floods in Bakau have claimed valuable items including clothes, food items, mattresses, sofa seats, and cupboards to name a few. One flood victim by the name of Kaddy Sonko told our medium on Sunday 31st July 2022 that from “3 am to now (15:00 hours) we can’t control water, authorities should come to our help because we are tired of flooding in our community”.
Our reporter who lives in Bakau can confirm that over the years the people of Bakau have called on the authorities to improve the drainage in their communities to address flood water going into their compounds but the situation hasn’t been improved.
Another flood victim by the name of Amie Samateh explained that “whenever it rains and stagnant water stagnant from outside floods into our house. Since in the earlier morning I have been trying to get the water out of my house”. One Modou Sowe added that he had to evacuate his family to another safe location due to the flash floods.
Binta Janneh Jallow Deputy Mayor for Kanifing Municipal Council said that the council over the years has made several efforts to counter flooding in the Kanifing region. She also urged people to take ownership of gutters. “People should stop throwing their garbage in the gutters, we are aware of floods we would try to address it,” she said.
President Adama Barrow has also been out today 1st August 2022 touring the areas affected by flash floods. During the tour held today, Presidential Correspondent, Momodou Jallow, has revealed that President Adama Barrow announced that his government will “launch a US$80 million Drainage Project in The Greater Banjul Area to prevent flooding” and “another US$43 million Project will also be launched by the government for the same purpose”.
This is a total of US$123 million to address the drainage problems in the Gambia which equates to over D6.5 billion at a rate of D53 to US$1.