Gambia the
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

NDMA: Over 43K People Affected, 11 Deaths and 3,463 Houses Completely Destroyed

Yusef Taylor

Yusef Taylor, commonly known as Flex Dan is an editor and practising journalist based in the Gambia with a keen interest in human rights, the economy and good governance among many others. He continues to break news on the economy, human rights violations and is highly engaged in security sector reforms, constitutional reform and the transition of the Gambia from dictatorship to a democracy, the NewGambia. Yusef has been working with Gainako as a media practitioner from 2015 to date. He has a degree in Civil Engineering with 5 years of Design Consultancy experience.

By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT

The fourth situation report published by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) highlights that at least 43,984 people have been affected by flash floods with at least 11 deaths and over 3,000 households destroyed in late July and early August 2022. The NDMA held a press conference on Friday 19th August 2022 to update the media on a technical visit by a delegation from the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination – OCHA to support operations relating to the flash floods.

Meanwhile, just last week the European Union Commission in the Gambia pledged D11 million (EUR 200,000) to support flash flood victims via the Gambia Red Cross Society. The EU Statement issued on 12th August 2022 notes that “the GRCS will target the affected regions of Banjul, Kanifing Municipality, West Coast Region, and North Bank Region, In North Bank Region, five children have been reported dead and one is in critical condition”.

According to the fourth situation report dated 19th, August 2022 at least 9,324 children 59 months and younger together with 2,846 pregnant and lactating mothers have also been affected by the flash floods. Unfortunately, the report adds that at least 11 deaths have occurred with 3,463 completely destroyed households and an additional 3,930 partially damaged households.

The report highlights that “the July 30th and 31st Flash floods are the worst to have hit The Gambia in nearly half a century”. Unfortunately, the flash floods of late July were only the start. “Since the flash floods on July 31st, there have been almost daily heavy downpours in many parts, particularly on the 5th and 6th of August thereby exacerbating the floods in many communities” read the report.

A statement issued by the NDMA notes that “Kanifing Municipality has the most affected people with 17,729. — Considering this, the Government of The Gambia in consultation with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office requested for technical support with assessment, analysis, information management, mapping and coordination”.

With regards to the services of the UN Delegation, the NDMA statement notes that “the mission will last three weeks and will support the development of a coordinated international response system in support of the Government of The Gambia especially pertaining to disaster and emergency coordination, information management and assessment, the environment, GIS, response and preparedness, resource mobilization and public health”.

History of Flash Floods

The latest situation report highlighted the historical records on floods from 1984 to date. According to records “The Gambia experienced significant floods in 1988, 1999, and 2002, 2010, 2020. This shows that the frequency of flash floods and climate-related shocks is increasing at an alarming rate”.

From a total of 5 years listed when flash floods affected the country, two of them were before the year 2000 with three of them coming after the year 2000.

With regards to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) “a total of 5,986 people has been internally displaced across the affected communities” of which “52.4% of the IDPs are females who will need specific support on protection as they face exacerbated vulnerability and may need to resort to negative coping strategies”.

Flooded Compound in Bakau (c) Alieu Ceesay

Water, Hygiene and Sanitation

Worryingly the report states that to date “392 water points and 1,200 sanitation facilities have been affected”. The worse affected areas with regards to water are “in the Greater Banjul Area especially Tobacco Road in Banjul, Ebo-Town, Kotu-Manjai and Nemakunku”. These are well-known areas where water inundation and floods occur on a yearly basis. The report indicates that “in these and many more communities, water is not receding at all or doing so at a very slow pace”.

The situation described in Tobacco Road encapsulates the seriousness of the flash floods in Banjul. The report notes that “In Tobacco Road, the sewage system has overflowed and mixed with the flood waters. The water in Banjul is clearly contaminated with reports describing it as having a yellowish green with a pungent smell”. Since the water have not receded or pumped back out to an outfall “children and other people are seen playing in these waters or walking through to access shops and markets putting their health at risk”.

This has seen an increase in the number of crocodiles and reptiles that typically occupy the mangroves and swampy land at Tobacco Road. The report notes that the “floods and stagnant waters have also brought dangerous reptiles close to communities posing a further risk to the population”.

Post Views: 55