27.2 C
City of Banjul
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
spot_img
spot_img

11 DEAD, OVER 5000 DISPLACED IN FLOODS DISASTER

- Advertisement -
image 50

By Talibeh Hydara

The National Disaster Management Agency, NDMA, has revealed that at least 11 people have been killed by last month’s devastating flash floods.

The Department of Water Resources had said the amount of rainfall quantity between 30th and 31st July was the highest recorded in 34 years.

- Advertisement -

The rains persisted for nearly 24hrs, with lightning and thunderstorms, which resulted in the death 4 people in the Central River Region.

In its 3rd situation report, NDMA said the torrential rains caused floods across the country, with the urban settlements the hardest hit. 

“… the ongoing registration have identified 40, 501 people who are directly affected by the recent heavy downpours. The suburbs in urban settlements have been the hardest hit by the recent floods. 11 deaths have been reported as a result of the recent flash floods,” NDMA said in its report released yesterday.

- Advertisement -

 The Agency also said those affected range from children to people with disabilities, with over 2000 pregnant and breastfeeding women being affected as well. 

“Children under 5 account for 22% of the affected population while females account for 51% of the total affected population. 2446 pregnant and breastfeeding women have been recorded thus far. 1756 persons with disabilities have been affected.

A total of 5,407 people have been internally displaced across the affected communities. 52.4% of the IDPs are females who will need support on protection and related issues. The NDMA and Red Cross have established a temporal IDP camp in Banjul which is housing about 350 people mostly women and children. The Camp is located at St Augustine’s Senior Secondary School. The majority of the IDPs are living with relatives. Hundreds of houses have been completely or partially damaged and unsafe for human habitation,” the situation report said.

Below is the full report

Background
The July 30th and 31st Flash floods are the worst that have hit the Gambia in nearly half a century. The torrential rain associated with thunderstorms resulted to flash flooding which affected the entire country. According to the Department of Water Resources ”rainfall quantity recorded during this period was 276 mm at Banjul International Airport, Yundum. The country experienced the same on 31st July 1998 with rainfall amount of 175.4 mm recorded. While historical records of floods date as far back as 1948. Significant floods experienced in the country were in 1988, 1999, and 2002, 2010, 2020 and now 2022. This shows that the frequency of flash floods and climate related shocks are becoming more persistent. Since the flash floods on July 31st, there have been almost daily heavy downpours in many parts of the country thereby exacerbating the floods in many communities.
Affected Population
Sequel to the affected areas and the impact of the flash floods it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people in the Gambia are negatively impacted. A GIS specialist will be mapping the affected area and the impact on the population.
However, the ongoing registration have identified 40, 501 people who are directly affected by the recent heavy downpours. The suburbs in urban settlements have been the hardest hit by the recent floods. 11 deaths have been reported as a result of the recent flash floods.
Children under 5 account for 22% of the affected population while females account for 51% of the total affected population. 2446 pregnant and breastfeeding women have been recorded thus far. 1756 persons with disabilities have been affected.
Internally Displaced Persons
A total of 5,407 people have been internally displaced across the affected communities. 52.4% of the IDPs are females who will need support on protection and related issues. The NDMA and Red Cross have established a temporal IDP camp in Banjul which is housing about 350 people mostly women and children. The Camp is located at St Augustine`s Senior Secondary School. The majority of the IDPs are living with relatives. Hundreds of houses have been completely or partially damaged and unsafe for human habitation.
*Note: In Sitrep 002 shared on August 9th 2022, the number of IDPs was increased because all hazards including fire and windstorms were factored in. Today’s data only focuses on those affected by the flashflood on 30th and 31st July 2022.

Water, Hygiene and Sanitation
Thus far 337 water points and 3,623 sanitation facilities have been affected. This is particularly of huge concern in the Greater Banjul Area especially Tobbaco Road in Banjul, Ebo-Town, Kotu-Manjai and Nemakunku. In these and many more communities water is not receding at all or doing so at a very slow pace. In Tobbaco Road, the sewage system has overflooded and mixed with the flood waters. The water in Banjul is yellowish green with a pungent smell. Children and other people are seen playing in these waters or working through to access shops and markets. These floods and stagnant waters have also attracted reptiles in some communities posing a risk to the population.
Health
There have been numerous incidents of diarrhea and skin rashes reported in Tobbaco-Road over the past few days. The relevant authorities have been alerted. These is a very high risk of water borne diseases emanating from the flash floods and the slow receding waters.
In the IDP camp, several pregnant women, and children under 5 are currently housed. These vulnerable groups need special attention and care as part of reproduction and child health but also needs on food and nutrition.
Environment
In many of the affected communities, it is realized that sewage systems and waters have been blocked as a result of waste disposal in those gutters. Furthermore, many houses have been built in waterways thereby affecting its floor. Unfortunately, during such heavy rains, many households dispose their waste in running waters thereby by causing blockage of canals. Many of the affected communities are along swampy areas or water ways.
Education
While schools are currently closed for the summer break, there have been numerous reports of loss of personal school items including uniforms and stationery. Kuli Kunda and Sasita Toranka Arabic schools have been reported damaged.
Agriculture
The detailed assessment will discuss the impact of the floods on agriculture and food production. However, there have been reports of farmlands being inundated and loss of tens of livestock in Central River Region.

Food and Nutrition Security
These recent flash floods have exacerbated the already dire situation of food and nutrition insecurity facing a greater population in the Gambia. The food and nutrition insecurity as a result of the flash floods compounds the existing challenges caused by the Russia-Ukraine Crisis, poor harvest, the 2021 devastating windstorms, Covid-19, high food prices, increase in fuel and transportation cost etc. Women, Children and the elderly are at a greater risk of food and nutrition insecurity with potential devastating consequences.
Coordination
The President of the Republic of the Gambia and the Vice President have led coordination efforts in respond to the flashfloods. The President and Vice President of the Republic have visited communities and engaged with affected populations and under his directive, The Vice President convened an emergency meeting of stakeholders including the Government, UN and Private Sector on August 2nd, 2022. The NDMA had also convened stakeholders technical meeting comprising of Government and development partners on the response planning.
Immediate needs
o Food assistance to affected populations
o Shelter support and temporal relocation of affected families
o Water and Hygiene support
o Health Surveillance for possible disease outbreak
o Non-Food items including mattresses, buckets, cooking utensils, bed nets, detergents, sanitary pads, cloths, mat, bed linens, family tents etc.
o Conduct of a detail multisectoral
o assessments

Join The Conversation
- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment -spot_img