Wednesday’s heavy downpour which caused major flooding of communities in and around Monrovia is a belated reminder of the menace of overflowing water that will affect various communities this rainy season.
Weather forecast analysts early last year told the Daily Observer that the predicted effects of climate change will be seriously felt in Liberia. How much preparation was made to minimize flooding this year will be revealed in the coming months of the rainy season.
Yesterday’s downpour affected the regular hot spots of Joe Bar, Coca-Cola Factory, A.B. Tolbert Road and Red Light Market as well as Carey and Randall streets, Waterside, Slipway, Buzzy Quarters and many other areas in and around Monrovia.
At the Joe Bar in Paynesville, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) substation was filled with water that overwhelmed the old drainage at the entry of the power facility.
Another report said several parts of Douala were over run by flooding as a result of clogged drainages, blocked alleys and waterways.
In a brief tour of Monrovia Tuesday afternoon clogged drainages were observed in Buzzy Quarters, Lynch Street, Randall Street, Waterside, Slipway and Camp Johnson Road. Affected residents in the various communities were stranded in their houses.
Residents acknowledged that their houses were built in flood prone areas but argued that they have spent a lot of money to build those houses and businesses which cannot be easily relocated.
It may be recalled that two years ago, former Assistant Minister for Energy at the Ministry of Lands & Mines with oversight on mineral exploration and the environment, Gesler Morris, told the Daily Observer that unless Liberians stop building houses on waterways and alleys, flooding
will continue to affect their communities.
Morris at the time pointed out that most of the private and public houses and structures by Liberians and foreign business firms were built in violation of zoning laws.
About a year ago, Public Works Minister William Gyude Moore told a team of Daily Observer reporters that plans were in the works to clean all drainages in Monrovia before the end of the dry season.
The Special Presidential Task Force under GSA Commissioner General Mary Broh recently initiated cleaning up the drainage near the Rally Time Market.
As the rainy season gathers momentum, boots and other rain gear may not suffice in the severe rainstorms that cause knee to waist deep flooding. Commuting will worsen in many areas as vehicles limit their risks of servicing passengers in flooded communities.