The rainy season is here

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Finally, the Greater Banjul Area and the Kanifing Municipality also have had their first drop of this year’s rainy season.  After the last heat waves that hit the country the last couple of weeks, we were all praying for rain and eventually god answered our prayers as the first rainfall has touched the ground.

We prayed for rainfall not just because of its coolness, but it is ordinarily supposed to be a season of blessing because after all, there is no life without water and almost no food in Gambia without our rain-dependent agriculture.

However, with the increasing impact of climate change on the rainfall pattern, the rainy season is now a period of torment in the country not because malaria and diarrhoea are at peak during this period. It is tormenting in the Greater Banjul and Kanifing Municipality not only to individual households but also to the general public general because of the poor infrastructure and bad physical planning of our highways.

One of the seemingly easiest ways to cope with the impacts of climate change is adaption and that entails rising to the occasion by preparing our environment and adjusting our infrastructures to cope with the changing circumstances of our rainfall pattern.

Some of the disasters and calamities related to the rainfall could be avoided if we, as individual households, the community and the government, try to employ to adaption measures.

Individual households at places like Ebo Town, where the first rainfall of the year is said to have caused havoc, could do little on their own. They need the intervention of the government but the government is seemingly not doing enough to help tackle the frequent flash flooding that characterise the community in recent years.

It is not enough to let the communities know that they are settled on waterways, but help with a possible relocation option with at least modest accommodation to continue their lives. 

Ebou Town, like several other communities in similar situation, need permanent solution to their annual predicament. 

But even aside from the communities, our during the rainy season, most of our roads, the major highways like Westfield-Brikama Highway, Berthil Harding Highway and Kairaba Avenue, are always immotorable because of their deplorable situation – too many potholes and stagnant water every where.  The road are always flooded and that makes it difficult travelling around town.

Also, the lack of a proper functioning drainage system has resulted to piles of filthy mud setting along the roadsides, making daily life activities very difficult for the residents and other business outlets along the street.

We reiterate that every effort should be employed in putting our roads, and the gutters, in a good state and finding a tangible and workable solution to the rain-related predicaments of communities like Ebo Town.  This process should start today.  Now.

“If the rain spoils our picnic, but saves a farmer’s crop, who are we to say it shouldn’t rain?”

Tom Barrett