Nov 22, 2010, 12:39 PM
This year’s rainy season has started, a time when we face nightmares on our roads, most of which are not usable during this time of the year.
While we are all thankful that the rains have started coming - from an agricultural point of view, unless we rehabilitate some of our roads and drainage systems, the rains will continue to wreak havoc in certain areas.
For long periods during heavy rains, transport is almost impossible to get on the roads, as conditions are just too hazardous to drive in.
This can be of no complaint for anyone as safety on our roads should be a top priority for all of us. However, when the rains ease and the transports re-appear the drivers must contend with often severe flooding and many hidden surprises.
On the main roads, they must be constantly cognizant of heavy flooding on the edges of the roads and of other vehicles swerving, sometimes very dangerously, to avoid the water. This leads to a very dangerous situation for drivers, pedestrians and potential passengers.
When drivers leave the main roads they are faced with an even more daunting task. They must beware that in many places the road will have disintegrated under the weight of the downpour, and what looks like an innocuous pothole may, in fact, be a very deep pool that will damage their car, perhaps irreparably.
Aside from those people using the less than satisfactory road infrastructure, there are those suffering because of another serious deficit in our national infrastructure, and that is proper drainage.
Almost every year, areas like Churchill’s Town, Ebo Town among others are always inundated with floodwaters after torrential downfalls. While in some areas the water goes up to hip level, some people lose all their household possessions during the annual flooding.
During the rainy season, many people in other areas also experience huge bodies of water forming as a result of bad drainage. This serves to provide almost perfect breeding conditions for the dreaded vector of malaria, the mosquito. This is a serious health risk to the population.
Another issue is the flooding of drains. This brings forth into public areas a toxic soup of waste and bacteria-infested water. This is also a serious health risk to people living in the affected areas.
We are all glad that the rains have come, and we pray for a successful season for our farmers, but we must take note of the myriad of problems that come for other citizens during this season.
Once we have identified the problems we must remedy them before the next rains come, and ensure the monsoon is only a time of good tidings for the people of The Gambia.
“Do me a favour during the rainy season, and I shall do the same for you during the dry season”