4 September 2017

Gambia: Victims of 102 Niani Households Await Help

Flood victims of 102 households of Kuntaur and affected villages in Niani are still waiting for food and other forms of assistance from the government, NGOs and missions.

Shelter for homeless victims, though inadequate, has been provided. Concerned individuals have donated whatever they can to the victims. According to the Chief of the district, Pierre Bah, Kipa Konjera has donated ten thousand dalasis (D10,000) and two bales of second hand clothes; the Niani youths in Germany have donated thirty-six thousand, six hundred dalasis (D36,600) and GDC leader Mama Kandeh donated thirty thousand dalasis for the purchase of books for school children, 100 bags of rice for Kuntaur victims and 120 bags of rice for victims of satellite villages.

The village of Kuntaur in Niani District Central River Region North, was flooded by the heavy downpour of the 26 of August 2017, causing many residents homeless and food insecure.

Residents of the village voiced their frustration on the heavy rains of the 26 August 2017 that has rendered them homeless and has escalated their food insecurity.

According to them, the heavy downpour at this time of the cropping season, has rendered their shelters and rice fields flooded and brought down most structures and washed all their foodstuff away.

Talking to this reporter at Kuntaur, Keme Jarra expressed thanks to God since no life was lost, but as far as destruction of properties is concerned, they are left with almost nothing; that at the time of speaking to this reporter on Tuesday 29 August, the small ruminants were still being carried away by flood waters and the animals could not be found up to now.

"Twenty-six of our small ruminants have been barred by the current flash floods from coming home and up to now, we are searching for them but could not see them and some of these small ruminants are pregnant while the others are breastfeeding their young ones," she stated.

With regard to food stuff, Madam Jarra said their food stores have been washed away by the strong currents of the flood waters and those in bags have been soaked in these waters. "When foodstuff like rice is sunk in water, there is nothing that one can do but to throw it away because it is not consumable," she said.

The Area Councilor Alhagi Kebba Sabally, said the incident caught the whole community by surprise. Sabally asserted that over 102 households have been affected by the floods and a lot of animals, compounds, foodstuff and other belongings were destroyed.

He said those whose houses were destroyed are currently housed at the Quranic School, the GGC Depot, the Market, the health Centre and good neighbours.

The Governor of the region Sulayman Barry, stated that he came to the area for fact finding and when he returns to his office, he will consult his team of technicians and engineers to discuss ways and means of addressing the problem holistically.

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