Feb 20, 2009, 7:15 AM
Latest report from the Western Region Red Cross branch has stated that over 2000 people have been seriously affected by flood, due to heavy down pour.
According to statistics, up to 233 compounds with about 2060 households were affected across the region, rendering a good number of people homeless.
Mr. Modou Sering Joof, the Secretary General of the Western Region Disaster Management Committee, who also doubles as the Public Relations Officer of Brikama Area Council, in an interview with this reporter, said the Red Cross Branch in Western Region is working in collaboration with the Regional Disaster Management Committee to ensure that the correct data is collected.
According to him, the final statistics is yet to be completed as there are more recorded data to be compiled. While describing the destruction as very horrible, he attributed it to climate change, rain pattern in The Gambia, which he noted, has drastically changed.
Mr. Joof buttressed the need for attitudinal change in the pattern of construction.
According to Mr. Joof, things have reached at a level when the physical planning laws regulating construction are no longer respected.
"The physical planning laws say nobody should put up structures without having approval from the physical planning department," said Mr. Joof.
He added that if the laws of the physical planning are respected, then every single house before erection there must be an approval from the relevant authorities. He also challenged people not to buy compounds in swampy areas, adding that people have now started experiencing settlement patterns, noting that this can only be achieved through attitudinal change.
Mr. Joof urged NGOs and other humanitarian bodies to complement government's effort in supporting flood victims.