The Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) has targeted several flood prone communities in Montserrado and Margibi Counties for assistance intended to combat the effects of annual flooding. Montserrado and Margibi are usually the two most affected counties and the assistance provided is meant to equip people ahead of this year’s rainy season.
Through its project, “Enhancing response and recovery capacities for populations affected by flood,” LNRCS in collaboration with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies(IFR) is providing building materials intended to help victims fortify their homes. Items distributed included bundles of zinc and cement.
According to Project Coordinator Edwin Jojo Roberts, thirty communities (15 each) from the two counties and 15,000 beneficiaries are being targeted. He disclosed this while speaking during the distribution in Karken Town, Margibi County last weekend. He said communities in Margibi are the worst affected.
“These people suffer a lot during the rainy seasons, and this is why we thought to act as our mandate dictates. They live in deplorable conditions and we all need to see how to help our people get out of this situation that they faced with annually,” Roberts said. Five family heads and a total of 34 beneficiaries received the materials in Karken Town.
“These communities are cut off during the rainy season,” he said.
The cost of the project, according to Coordinator Roberts, is US$539,000 and was provided by the Japanese Government.
He said the project was meant to last for 10 months (from March-December) but was extended by an additional two months. Six hundred bags of cement and 600 bundles of zinc will be distributed under the project.
Coordinator Roberts noted that the project is also considering improving the drainage system in Unification City and its surrounding communities. “We are in discussions about helping to improve the drainage system of the affected communities. I have met with the mayor of city and we are having fruitful discussions,” he said.
“In the 1970s, the drainage system was effective, but people started building in the system,” he noted.
In 2016, Margibi was highly hit by floods. Some of the major towns affected were Dolo Town, Peter Town, Du Bridge, and Kpanyah in Lower Margibi. Residents of the affected homes relocated to the homes of relatives while others were rendered homeless because they had nowhere to stay. According to residents, last season’s floods were the worst ever witnessed in recent memory.
During the rainy season, residents would wake up early morning to find water entering their homes and rising to intolerable levels. Most times, the main road is flooded, preventing vehicles from traveling between Roberts International Airport and Monrovia.
Mondaymar Johnson, 55 and Garway Michel, 60, were two of the five beneficiaries in Karken Town. Mrs Johnson is a widow, while Mr. Michel is visually impaired.
The two lauded the LNRCS and its partners for helping them. “We were never expecting this so we want to thank you for all you are doing. They, however, noted that improving the drainage system around the community would be of greater help.