Banjul could be at serious risk if...
Friday, April 20, 2012
The City of Banjul might be threatened ifthewater pumping station along the Bond Road collapses, says
Abubacarr Bah, the National Water and Electricity Company (Nawec) officer in
charge of the station.
Bah stressed that the facility needs immediate reconstruction instead of rehabilitation, saying Banjul could be at even greater risk if serious flooding strikes from the sea, which can even compel the inhabitants to vacate. The pumping station serves as a taming point of water that flows into Banjul. The facility is currently in a dilapidated condition, and Bah said this needed to be addressed immediately.
Speaking to journalists yesterday at the station after briefing the Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) delegates who are on a three-day return visit to the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Bah emphasised the need for a greater concentration on the pumping station for a reconstruction, observing that if rehabilitated it can last for only approximately one year.
The disaster management coordinator for Banjul, Hudul Colley said they are currently negotiating with the Japanese Embassy in Dakar for their assistance to rehabilitate the facility. The Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) delegates are in the country to share experience with the NDMA in the area of disaster management as part of the South-South cooperation.
Meeting at BCC
Earlier yesterday, the delegation, led by Essa Khan, the executive director of the NDMA visited the Banjul City Council (BCC) where they held a brief meeting with the Council officials.
Wilson Syngle, the deputy mayor of BCC told the delegates that the Council is trying its best to address disaster issues within Banjul. He cited the high-level rise of the river, poor drainage systems and uncovered drainage as some of the factors posing problems to them. He also listed the main canal in Tobacco Road and the Bond Road pumping stations as other challenges. Syngle used the platform to thank the NEMA delegates for visiting the Council and reiterated the need for a greater collaboration between them and the NDMA to address disasters whenever they strike.
Agbo Charles Adakole, the director of Planning, Research and Forecasting Department of NEMA told the gathering that they came to The Gambia on the request of the NDMA to collaborate with them on disaster management and prevention. He noted that disasters occur within communities, which requires for people at the grassroots level to be aware of how to identify disaster risks and address them. The delegation also visited some of the disaster hotspots in Banjul and the Kanifing Municipality and the NDMA store in Kanifing.
Author: Amadou Jallow