Gambia: Flood-Stricken Banjul in Grip of Fear

The flood that occurred in Banjul in 2022 had a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of people living around those affected areas.

According to the National Disaster Management Agency Report, last year’s flood affected over 200 families and forced them to leave their homes and temporarily relocated at St Augustine’s Senior Secondary School and the Friendship Hostel in Bakau, last year.

In addition, the floodwater carried with it debris, sewage, and other contaminants, with a high risk of health issues such as cholera and typhoid fever.

The flood had a huge economic impact as it damaged businesses and disrupted the local economy, causing many people to lose their sources of income.

Sulayman Njie, a resident of Banjul and last year’s flash flood victim, said that a good number of Banjulians are in a great state of despair as future remains uncertain about this year’s rainy season,

“I have a great concern about the current situation as there is limited progress made in the sewage and drainage component of the Banjul project particularly the ring canals. An additional machine has been installed to deter further flooding in the Bund Road area, but the threat lies in the redirection of the waterways and the shrinking of the canal.”

He revealed that Hon. Modou Lamin B Bah, Councillor Bintou Kaba and Hon. Abdoulie Njai were engaging respective stakeholders in ameliorating the situation.

“As concerned citizens, we are also encouraging and working with our councillors to remove the debris in the drainage in our respective streets.”

Isatou Jallow, also a victim of last year’s flash flood, expressed fear that the flood would happen again. According to her, the young people of Banjul have started approaching authorities to remind them about the plans needed to put in place to avoid the re-occurrence of flood in Banjul this year.

“Nothing is still done yet and many people are saying that if the flood hits Banjul again this year, they won’t render help because the authorities are not playing their part.”

Sambujang Drammeh, a resident of Banjul North, indicated that there is no sign of improvement since last year.

“There is no improvement in the drainage system and the waterway at the back of our compounds is blocked and it affects the passage of water.

Modou Lamin B. Bah, the National Assembly Member for Banjul North, said that the Banjul Road Rehabilitation Project is a top priority for Banjulians. He added that the expectation of President Adama Barrow during his State of the Nation’s address was to highlight the progress made with the project.

“The government, through the Ministry of Works hasn’t started the reconstruction of the main ring canal in Banjul which we believe contributed to the cause of the flash floods last year. This is indeed a concern at the moment for the city dwellers.”