Monrovia, Paynesville Annual Flooding Begins

Houses sunken in flood prone areas

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Two of hardest hit communities badly flooded during last weekend’s heavy rainfall

By Edwin M. Fayia III

Two days of heavy rainfall in Monrovia, Paynesville and other parts of Montserrado County last weekend left many families homeless as their houses and surroundings went underwater.

In a tour of affected communities in Paynesville and Monrovia, scores of houses and makeshift structures were seen trapped under water.

Every year in many parts of the county, scores of residents and their properties are affected by flooding, with the most affected being those built in flood prone areas in or near swamps and creeks.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at various workshops, has warned residents and property owners that flood prone areas are not suitable for building houses.

A former official of the EPA, Darlington B. Cyrus, told the Daily Observer on Saturday that unless Liberians can make up their minds to stop building houses and other structures in low lying areas, their woes will continue every rainy season.

However, to a great extent such warnings have fallen on deaf ears, as many Liberians continue to build their houses where heavy flooding occurs every year.

According to officials of the Public Works Ministry, most of the flooding occurring in Monrovia and Paynesville are also due to clogged drains, resulting from human activities such as dumping of waste into the drainage system.

The heavy weekend rains affected several communities including, but not limited to the former Omega Navigation Station, Coca-Cola Factory, A.B. Tolbert Road, Randall Street and Waterside.

Others were Buzzy Quarters, United Nations Drive, Soniewein, Carey Street and Slipway.
At the Red Light Market last Saturday, motor and other mechanized vehicles, wheelbarrow pushers, were all stranded due to the flooding.

The narrow bridge that connects upper Pipeline Road to the business hub of Red Light Market was also flooded, with hundreds of petty traders stranded for over twelve hours.
Residents of the affected communities are meanwhile, appealing to the Ministry of Public Works to help them fight the perennial flooding.

It may be recalled that in 2015, Public Works Minister Gyude Moore told a team of Daily Observer reporters that one of his top priorities was to clean most of Monrovia’s drainage systems. Efforts have also been made in the past to ensure that communities work together to keep the drains near their communities clean and free of debris, especially before the start of the rainy season.

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