Again the rainy season has come and with it the torrential rains which sometimes sweep away many valuable properties of people. On rare occasions even lives are lost. Over the weekend, there has been a heavy downpour of rain which is reported to have caused some damages in the country.
The question one may ask now is: how prepared are we for these types of downpours? Are there any arrangements to mitigate the attendant losses these heavy rains can bring? There is a forecast that the Gambia will witness an unprecedented amount of rain this year. The downpour over the weekend suggests that it is about to begin. Let us therefore brace ourselves for more rains.
The National Disaster Management Agency should take the bull by the horn, as it were, and come out and give the public information on the types of rains we expect and what precautions, if any, would they advise the citizens to take. The NDMA should not be a reactionary agency but one that anticipates and gives advice on how to avoid certain losses.
For this reason, government should support this most important agency and give them all the equipment they require. This should be done long before the rains begin; they should have enough vehicles, tools, the required amount of money, all put in place in preparation for the rains.
In this way, they can work in collaboration with the meteorology department and forecast the amount of rain and then even calculate the expected damages in terms of cost and then budget accordingly. In this way, they will be able to come to the rescue and aid of any potential victims as quickly as possible.
Again, priority should be given to prevention rather than just reacting. The Wolofs say ‘Khoddeeku Balaa Ngai Lakale!’
Our thoughts and prayers are with victims of last week’s downpour.