Eleven died in Gambia's worst floods in 50 years
BANJUL, Gambia, Aug 12, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - The Gambia suffered its worst
flooding in "nearly half a century" late last month, killing 11 people and
internally displacing more than 5,000, its disaster agency said in a report.
Flash floods following heavy rainfall on July 30 and 31 "directly
affected" at least 40,000 people, including more than 8,000 children under
the age of five, but are likely to have had an impact on hundreds of
thousands in total, the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) said on
The Department of Water Resources recorded 276 millimetres of rainfall in
the capital Banjul over the two-day period, it said.
"The suburbs in urban settlements have been the hardest hit", the agency
said, with 11 deaths reported and 5,407 people internally displaced.
"Hundreds of houses have been completely or partially damaged and unsafe
for human habitation."
Most of the internally displaced -- 52.4 percent of whom are women and
girls -- are staying with relatives. The NDMA and Red Cross are housing 350
people at a temporary camp in Banjul.
"The historical records of floods date as far back as 1948", the report
said, noting that the country's most significant floods were recorded in
1988, 1999, 2002, 2010, 2020 and 2022.
"This shows that the frequency of flash floods and climate related shocks
are becoming more persistent", it added.
In the Greater Banjul Area, hundreds of water points and thousands of
sanitation facilities were affected by the latest flooding, with water
throughout the city appearing "yellowish green with a pungent smell", the
In Tobacco Road neighbourhood, the sewage system overflowed and mixed with
the flood waters.
"Numerous" cases of diarrhoea and skin rashes had been reported there, the
agency said, adding there was a "very high" risk of water-borne diseases.
It also said the stagnant waters had attracted attract reptiles in some
communities, "posing a risk to the population".
On a visit to affected areas of Banjul last week, President Adama Barrow
pledged $46 million for a new water canal project, which he said would be
built by the end of the year, media reported.