Lessons from flood disasters


Flash floods due to heavy rains have become a regular occurrence in low-lying and underdeveloped areas of the country. This year again our capital Banjul and parts of KM and West Coast regions have all been flooded as they have vast plain land and hardly any vegetation. These areas remain inundated with water, and it is impossible for welfare organisations and relief teams to reach all the affected people with immediate assistance. Roads which are already deplorable have been made worse by the floods while other critical infrastructure such as bridges and power lines have been submerged leading to traffic chaos and power outages.

The government must use this year’s flooding as a sign to find the best routes for water drainage and storage to avoid a similar situation in the future. Satellite imaging should be used to map different areas and routes after which drainage systems must be constructed. Also, trees and mangroves must be planted to offer additional support for water absorption.

The government must create more dams and reservoirs to improve water management and storage as this can also help water shortages during summer or dry periods. Importantly, farmers should be facilitated by providing them with the latest agriculture and irrigation equipment to help them maintain their livelihoods.