Banjul Flood Victims Feel Forgotten At Friendship Hostel As NDMA Director Goes AWOL

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By: Alimatou S Bajinka

The Banjul flash flood victims who were initially temporary sheltered in the Saint Joseph SSS, and are now currently sheltered at Friendship Hostel in Bakau have extended their voices to the government for them to properly look into their issue.

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These flood victims were transferred from Tobacco Road in Banjul by the government as a result of the heavy downpour the country registered late last month. Almost every part of the country has been affected, but the country’s capital city, Banjul was one of the worst hit settlements. As a result, some of them needed temporary accommodation before water is drained from their houses.

However, some of the victims given houses at the Friendship Hostel as a shelter now seemed uncomfortable at the place and want to return to their homes.

However, some of the victims given houses at the Friendship Hostel as shelter now felt forgotten as they claimed the person who brought them to the hostel had not been communicating with them.

Haddy Jeng, one of the flood victims who leaves at Tobacco Road, is currently at the hostel with three children. She said it is not right for them to be kept in the hostel without any knowledge of what would happen next.

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“We just want them to come and tell us what is next for us. We want to know our faith. This place is ok, food and shelter are being provided for us and I appreciate that, but my mind is not at rest because my entire life is at a halt.”

Penda Faal, another victim, cried while telling The Fatu Network how “tiring” it is being in this situation they have found themselves in. The emotionally looking woman said they are Gambians and they deserve to be treated as such.

“My son was my only source of survival but he died in the sea when he followed his friends using the back way to Europe and since then, I have been suffering. This situation has worsened my life. I work as a house help to care for myself. I am a Gambian and I believe help from the government should be extended to me as well.”

All the victims that have spoken to this medium say they have enough food at the hostel, however, they told this medium they saw Sanna Dahaba only once, the man who brought them to the place. The victims could not understand that.

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The National Disaster Management Agency’s (NDMA) Director, Sanna Dahaba told this medium that it was due to his busy schedule on flood response with some partners who are assessing the impact of the flood.

“There are technical teams in the country doing a detailed assessment about what happened, since their arrival I have been very busy with them taking them to the hot spots to conduct a very detailed assessment in terms of economic losses and assessing people who need support, this was why I have not been frequently coming to the hostel,” NDMA Director, Sanna Dahaba, said while confirming assessments are ongoing and the outcome of that is what will determine what the next step would be for the victims.

The rain in question that led to such destruction was said to have been the heaviest rain in over 30 years in the country. It will take some time for the Gambia to recover from its effects, although, the Government is being criticised for doing little about it.

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