President Adama Barrow on Friday visited over 10 villages in the North Bank Region affected by Wednesday night’s storm to assess the damage and offer condolences to the bereaved families.
A state house statement dated 10th July 2021, said President Barrow first stop was Samba Kala in Lower Nuimi, where he met the village elders and visited affected areas including the village school.
“The President said his visit was to personally assess the damage and commiserate with the bereaved families for the loss of their loved ones. He promised the Government’s assistance to all those affected. The President’s next stop was Ndungu Kebbeh and Kerr Selleh all in Lower Nuimi. He proceeded to Jamagen, Kuntair and Darsilameh in Jokadu. Other villages the President visited included Njawara, Conteh Kunda Sukoto, Minteh Kunda and Illiasa in Badibu and Ngain Sanjal and Balangharr.
President Barrow is en route to Sami District in CRR, where he is set to launch the 30KV LaminKoto-Diabugu-Batapa electricity project on Saturday,” the dispatch indicated.
Meanwhile, a day earlier on 9th July 2021, President Barrow issued a statement following Wednesday’s night windstorm “that downed electric poles, destroyed buildings, uprooted trees, and littered our streets and communities with debris.”
He expressed most regret about the reported ten (10) deaths across the country due to the storm. Barrow said “these are challenging times for us as a nation” and as a predominant farming country, he said people always look forward to the rainy season with excitement.
“However, we are also conscious that the season may come with some natural disasters. As the rainy season starts this year, we are beginning to experience such unfortunate calamities.
“On behalf of the Government and the entire nation, I commiserate with all those affected directly or indirectly. In particular, I extend heartfelt condolence to the bereaved families for the sad loss of lives, and I pray for solace for those who suffered damage to property. In the same vein, I pray for the speedy recovery of all those injured and their loved ones who perished in the storm to rest in eternal peace,” Barrow said.
Speaking further, President Barrow informed all citizens and residents of the country that his-led Government is fully aware of the scale of the damage caused by the natural tragedy and that they have since taken immediate steps to redress the situation.
“Working with the National Disaster Agency (NDMA) and the relevant line institutions, the Government has activated the country’s ‘Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.’ The National Disaster Management Agency staff deployed around the country, are working tirelessly to assess the full extent of the damage, and they are instituting measures to mitigate the effects of this natural disaster.
“Based on an NDMA preliminary assessment report, the storm destroyed property worth millions of Dalasis and injured many people, apart from claiming ten (10) lives. I appeal to all citizens and residents, all corporate bodies, and our development partners to work with the NDMA on disaster risk reduction mechanisms and support the victims,” Barrow said.
Nonetheless, the Gambian leader said agriculture is vital for the country’s food security and survival. Therefore, he urged the youth and all able-bodied citizens to engage in agriculture as a business venture.
“It is also worth noting that we can improve environmental sanitation by maintaining waterways clear of debris and garbage. My Government will urge the Department of Physical planning to learn lessons from the poor planning of old settlements and, in the future, plan new communities better, taking account of waterways and proper drainage systems,” Barrow said.