Flooding Overwhelms Montserrado Communities

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The annual six months rainy season in the country has started with serious flooding caused by heavy downpours in every part of the country, increasing the hardship Liberians are encountering from the resulting impassable roads, flooded homes and businesses and damaged properties.

There are very few indications of any solutions to the flooding.  Many of the same areas that got flooded last year are once more submerged. As a result, residents and businesses are bracing up for the worst to come around mid July through September.

During a recent survey of affected communities in Monrovia and Paynesville in Montserrado County, many homes and shops could be seen barely keeping the flood water at bay with sand bags. Next month as the rainfall increases with few dry days in between, water will enter many homes and other structures, and will make passage from some communities to the highways impossible without wading through waist high dirty water, full of excrement, garbage and other unsuspected dangerous things.

Many children will be unable to get to school and many schools themselves will be flooded.

This is the time when mosquitoes and other disease bearing insects breed  on the surface of the filthy water and ferociously attack residents day and night.

The community residents themselves are partly to blame for their plight because of their failure to adhere to warnings against the construction of their homes in waterways and flood-prone areas. However the critical lack of housing has left many residents with little or no alternative.

There have been repeated warnings to residents of Monrovia communities such as West Point, Duala, Waterside, Rally Time Market near Soniewein but these warnings have not been heeded to at least not  until the rainy season arrives.

In Monrovia decades old drains are clogged with sand and garbage and they are the main causes of the problem,  but until the rains come, no one really cares to replace or maintain them.

In the Paynesville Red-Light Market, flood water filled several areas, but people went about their businesses. Many of the residents were also seen in a similar situation at the Bernard Farm and Forestry Development Authority (FDA) parking stations.

At the Joe Bar Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) substation, which is an area without any drainage, flooding is almost a year round problem. The public agencies which should share responsibility for fixing the problem appear unwilling or unready to do so.

One of Several Monrovia houses surrounded by water as a result of weekend flooding

Though there have been news reports about the flooding in the area and the danger it poses to the vital LEC installations, the authorities are yet to take any practical step to ensure the safety of the electrical equipment on their piece of land at the location.

A resident of Joe Bar, Tom B. Zulu, 40, appealed to authorities of LEC and the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) to make all efforts to rehabilitate the drainage in order to protect lives, vehicles and the electrical installations.

A Slipway resident, Benedict Seyon, 48, told the Daily Observer about his hardship in the slum area that has been his home for many years. “I am bearing this hardship with the hope that conditions can improve for me to be able to find a good place somewhere else,” he said.

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