At least a dozen victims of last week’s windstorm disaster have received emergency support from the Council of African Descendants (COAD).
Last Wednesday’s windstorm left ten people dead and displaced thousands. It was described by the NDMA as the worst windstorm to hit the country in five years.
While the government is assessing the damage done by the windstorm countrywide, COAD, a community of people from African ancestors born outside who have now returned to the continent and are found in many African countries including The Gambia, has started extending support to victims.
The group’s first disbursement of D80, 000 meant to assist victims with shelter needs and other essential supplies is distributed between victims in Basse, Busura, Nemakunku and Latrikunda.
The beneficiaries were provided with 28 packets of corrugated iron sheets and provided D25,000 to some affected families.
COAD’s founder and vocal citizenship advocate, Juliet Ryan better known as Nyanco Kujabi, said: “Having experienced natural disasters in the Caribbean, we were very much aware of the damage and the desperation it can cause for victims which informed our immediate intervention.
“We realised that we could not wait even one night to see these people without a roof over their heads or sleep outside especially during this rainy season,” Juliet said.
Juliet, who is adopted into the Kujabi family in Busura and serves as the village VDC’s secretary, said the support was initiated in partnership with Blaxit TV Channel dedicated to positively promoting Africa and The Gambia with 3.7 million viewers worldwide.
“We understand that President Barrow has made a call out for people to come out and support the victims which is why we also jumped on board to give our support. We feel as home comers we have a duty and responsibility to assist our communities and families,” she added.
She said the Council provided transport to dozens of family members from Baddibu to help them visit their families during these difficult times.
Adrian Ryan alias Hatib Kujabi pointed out that the Council will be “venturing into providing food relief for the victims following the end of the current program which will see the distribution of rice to vulnerable communities.
“We understand that most of the foods were destroyed and as Tobaski approaches, they will be going back to their savings to use it for the preparation, so food support to them will be very helpful. We are also calling other charity NGOs and business partners to support the victims,” he said.