Frustrated storm victims try to figure out how to re-roof their homes amid such dire economic times.
Two persons were injured during a rainstorm that rendered about 500 persons homeless in Gbalatuah and four other satellite villages in Zota District in Bong County.
The storm, which took place at around 7 p.m. on Friday, the 19th of June, with in a space of not more than 30 minutes ravaged Gbalatuah, Fetuah, Camp Two and Kawayaquelleh, all in the Gbalatuah area, a victim Marcus Doran narrated.
"The roofs of some buildings were totally blown off by the violent rainstorm," Doran explained.
When journalists visited the community, affected residents were seen trying to salvage their belongings from the damage, as carpenters were hired to remove roofs that fell from other buildings.
Some residents were seen with their properties outside their damaged houses, wondering what to do or where to go.
Since the night of the storm, most of those affected, particularly the women and children, have been sleeping in classrooms at the William R. Tolbert High School (WRTHS) on the cold floor.
The school, which also sustained damage on part of its roof, is a government-run boarding school attended predominantly by girls from kindergarten through the 12th grade. Now that the Ministry of Education has ordered schools open for 12th graders, only to prepare for the West African Senior School Certificate Exams (WASSCE), those who have sought refuge at the school are hard pressed to get their homes fixed in order to return or go somewhere else.
"What happened over the weekend was beyond human knowledge and imagination," Mr. Doran told the Daily Observer. "It started around 7pm. It was the worst I have seen in this community. It destroyed over 125 houses. Most of our properties have been destroyed."
Hired carpenters removing damaged zinc from the affected homes
He said the incident has pushed them into untold difficulties and hunger as the rainstorm victims and their children have sought refuge and shelter with family members in congested rooms.
"This situation is posing serious health risk to the lives of victims who are currently sharing beds and other domestic materials with family members amid the COVID 19 outbreak," Doran said.
Madam Mamie Flomo, a widow with five children, described the situation as terrible and devastating.
"The rain started small, small and what we heard was a big storm. Our properties were destroyed by the rainstorm. We lost many things here. I was inside the house but nobody died," Madam Flomo said.
Another victim, Anthony Mulbah thanked God that he and his three children did not sustain injuries.
"We were inside when it started. I am only begging for help to enable me have roof over my house" Anthony pleaded.
"I urge the Government of Liberia through the Disaster Management Agency and other humanitarian organizations to come to our aid to ameliorate our sufferings" Anthony cried.
"We need assistance because of the havoc caused by the rainstorm. The shop I have has been blown off. We are pleading for the national government and friendly partners to come to our aid," a victim Nyamah Juah said..
Sundee Kiazulu, one of those injured by the rainstorm, lying in agony
"The rain started and the next thing we hear was a heavy breeze and the houses started collapsing. There is nobody the thing did not affect. My own is not a problem but my neighbor, whose house was destroyed by my roof," 55 year-old business woman, Garmai Tokpa, explained in tears.
Mr. Doran told this paper that those who sustained injury were rushed to the Belefanai Health Post for treatment.
Electoral District #4 Representative Robert Flomo Womba assured the victims his office will do everything humanly possible to ensure that he works with relevant authorities to repair the damaged homes.
"We will not promise you now that we will do everything to rebuild your devastated homes, but we can assure you that we'll work with agency responsible for disaster to come to your rescue. We will also go deep in our pocket to help you," Rep. Womba assured the people.
The citizens applauded Rep. Womba for his concern and promised to continue working with the Lawmaker to ensure that developments come to the Township.