By Sainabou Sambou
Brufut Alkalo, Ma Lamin K Manneh told Gainako Online News that the July – August 2022 floods were caused by buildings built on waterways and flood plains. Speaking to our reporter in mid-August Alkalo Manneh believes that the floods are due to divine intervention, however, the floods which have occurred over the years have worsened of late.
According to his observation, people should be able to differentiate between waterways and flood plains which are not suitable for buildings and dry land which is more suitable for buildings. In his view, the numerous buildings constructed on flood plans and waterways have blocked the natural pathway of the water during flash floods.
Highlighting some of the work done to assess the damages dues to flash floods Alkalo Manneh revealed that he embarked on a site visit to the affected areas with his team. He informed Physical Planning about his findings who in turn promised to visit victims affected by the flash floods in Brufut.
Shifting the blame on Physical Planning for approving the construction of buildings on flood plains and waterways he opined that such locations are not conducive to human living.
“I urge Physical Planning to advise people on where they should build their house and where to buy land because if people continue buying lands in the swampy areas the floods will continue,” to affect people’s properties in Brufut said Alkalo Manneh.
Brufut Flood Victim Calls for Assistance
One Brufut flood victim named Kebba Bah explained how the flash floods damaged his well, his toilet and some parts of his house. “I’m facing a lot of challenges right now and I didn’t have water in our compounds,” said Mr Bah.
Mr Bah seized the opportunity to seek help from any generous philanthropist and the general public for access to clean drinking water which he identified as his number one problem.
According to the fifth situation report produced by the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) published on 25th August 2022 at least 407 water points have been affected while 4,259 households have been partially damaged with an additional 3,617 households have been completely destroyed.
The NDMA report adds that “the most affected regions are Kanifing Municipal Council with 1,657 affected households and West Coast Region with 1,483 affected households”. Brufut is located in the West Coast Region.
One video from Kerr Fatou shows a house in Brufut collapsing under heavy rains back in late July 2022.
VDC Chairperson Confirms Alkalo’s Concerns
Village Development Committee (VDC) Chairperson Omar Manneh told Gainako News that he was aware of four locations which have been affected by the flash floods in Brufut. Chairperson Omar Manneh noted that “the VDC have showed solidarity to those who were affected by the flood and they are trying to do something for” flash flood victims.
He noted that “the road construction has also” worsened the flash floods as people have built their compounds on waterways. He called on the authorities to regulate the buying and selling of land with specific efforts made to stop people from building on waterways and flood plains.
In his view the recent “flood is not normal in Brufut and it hasn’t happened in the past when people hadn’t built their compounds on waterways and floodplains”. This in his view is the main reason why floods have worsened this year.