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July 7 storm victims narrate ordeal

Jul 12, 2021, 1:37 PM | Article By: Sulayman Waan

A severe storm that struck the nation on Wednesday, 7 July 2021, severely destroyed many houses, rendered several people homeless amid lost lives and valuable materials.

The windstorm also led to serious electrical breakdown within the Greater Banjul Area and the West Coast region hampering service. Many trees were uprooted while more than D10 million of materials perished.

Amadou Gissay, resident of Changai Toro village in Sami District of the Central River Region north (CRR/n) told The Point that  the windstorm completely destroyed his house affecting the entire family.

“The windstorm has ravaged my house entirely. Currently my family is homeless because we spent the last night under verandas. This is a disaster for us.  Now is a period when all farmers focus on cropping but I am thinking of how to rebuild my house,” he lamented.

Mr. Gissay said he has no money to rebuild his house, so called on government, development partners and philanthropists to come to his aid.

Many have described the windstorm as the worst disaster in The Gambia in recent years.

The country’s disaster management agency in a news conference, said the windstorm killed 10 people, displaced 1531 people internally and affected 3140 people countrywide.

Modou Ndure, resident of Ndofan village in the Lower Niumi District, North Bank region (NBR), also said the windstorm severely affected him and some of his neighbours.

Ndure said the heavy windstorm has rendered his family homeless.

He also disclosed that scores of people were also affected by the catastrophe, citing Ismailah Watara, Ebrima Sowe, Sarjo Jobe and Musa Sarr as among others affected.

“All these people and their families are currently homeless as a result of the disaster,” he said.

The windstorm victim added: “Some of us are trying to rebuild our houses while others are sitting doubtfully under a mango tree because they have no option due to lack of money to rebuild their houses and remaking their roofing.

He therefore called on all and sundry to come to their aid in this terrible condition.

Musa Ndow, resident of Toniataba village in the Sami District, Central River Region north (CRR/n), said the devastation has seriously affected his family and the neighbourhood.

“The disaster is so serious because the entire buildings of our home has collapsed. As we speak now, the family is homeless. Some of them are accommodated in the neighbourhood.”

Mr. Ndow said some members of his family were injured as the building collapsed on them, adding that some were admitted and now discharged from the Karantaba Health Centre. He said others have been referred to Bansang Referral Hospital for further treatment.

He said many valuable items such as buildings, clothes and food items among others were destroyed. He called on government and development partners to urgently come to their aid while prioritising accommodations for the victims.

 Subsequent to this, in a news conference on Thursday, Sanna Dahaba, executive director for the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), told journalists that the assessment was ongoing and before the government could determine the kind of support it would provide to the disaster victims, it must have credible and dependable data as that is the nerve center for any emergency support.

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