As the Central River Region town of Kuntaur reels from the damage and flooding of last weekend, opposition leader Mamma Kandeh met with families whose lives have been upended and volunteers assisting recovery efforts.
Kandeh is becoming the comforter-in-chief for many people in need since losing the bid to become the nation’s third leader in its 52-year history.
He donated 220 bags of rice to the flood victims and $653 (D30,000 dalasis) to school students, who have lost their books and other educational materials.
According to the residents, all homes in the town, except for three homes were flooded. Many in families are in need of urgent help and the government’s disaster relief agency has not responded adequately.
Kandeh travelled three hours northeast of the capital, Banjul to witness the devastation brought by the storm firsthand. He touted the crowd and volunteers that greeted him outside a small square.
The presence of the opposition leader, who has recently sparked tension over corruption allegation against officials of the Barrow administration, saw his critics applauding him for demonstrating empathy and compassion presidents are expected to display during such difficult times.
Kandeh is showcasing a leader eager to demonstrate a hands-on approach and check the boxes he wasn’t able to during the race to the State House.
Kandeh saw firsthand the challenges facing the area and connected with those directly affected by the flooding as well as the many volunteers coming to their assistance.
His supporters have been eager to show Kandeh is engaged in helping with the response to natural disasters, especially in their posts on social media and public remarks.