“I Find It Difficult to Cope With My 2-Month-Old Baby After Bush Fire Killed My Husband”- Widow


By Mustapha Jallow

After her husband was recently killed by bush fire in Kiang ‘Wurokang’, Mama Fanndeh, now a widow is finding life difficult as she struggles to survive with her 2-month-old daughter.

According to the 22-year-old widow, who was found sitting mourning her husband while chatting with her mother, she could not even afford to buy baby pampers, coupled with the fact that their daily survival is becoming a problem too.

“Since my husband’s death, I now find it so hard to cope. I don’t even have any single penny to buy baby pampers. I usually call people to help me buy pampers for my baby,’’ she said.

The widow made these remarks during a second visit to the decedent’s family by this reporter on Saturday, 6th February 2021.

Fanndeh’s husband died aged 36 after bush fire burned him to death. Her husband was engaged in firewood business. He would fetch woods, sell them and used that money to buy food items and their baby’s needs.

“My situation is getting worst right now. I’ve no butut with me. If he was alive, this will not happen,’’ the widow said, adding her husband was very supportive, hard-working and a breadwinner, who loved all and sundry in the family.

Fanndeh is now finding it difficult to make ends meet including buying breakfast for herself and her mother who came to keep her accompany. She thus called on NGOs or any Samaritan to help her because she is currently breastfeeding a 2-month-old.

Fanndeh spent two years in marriage with her husband before the bush fire snatched him away, leaving her and the baby lonely.

Lamin Jammeh graduated from Arabic School with certificates but lack of job opportunities forced him into the “dangerous bush to look for firewood and sell it to make ends meet.”

“I really need help. If you do not have good meals, you will not be able to breastfeed your child properly. I am calling on every Gambian to support us because we are in need of help,’’ she called.            

Fanndeh recalled the last moment she had with her husband before he was announced death.

She explained: “My last word with him was when I informed him that my mother was not feeling well and she really needs me there. He then gave me green light to visit my mother.’’

According to the widow, her husband showed her off to the highway and asked her to extend his warmly greetings to her mother.

“This was his final words with me,’’ she said. “When the incident happened, I received a phone call from his relatives but I was not informed directly as to what had happened to him. I was told that Lamin was seriously ill and he is already taken to hospital.’’

Upon returning home, she added: “I saw people trooping in and out of the house weeping and one of his uncles informed me that Lamin had passed-away after bushfire caught him in the forest.’’

“Lamin is gone. His 2-month-old girl will grow without seeing his father,’’ the widow said and tears started cascading down her checks.  “I will cry none stop all day, when I start breastfeeding our baby.’’

Kanndeh’s mother, a high blood patient, is in a state of shock and anxiety, thinking about how they would cope with the daily challenges of life now that Lamin has left for eternity.

Lamin Jammeh was found lying death after huge fire burned his entire body in the forest. His pile of wood, found 100 meters away from him was not burned. His remaining clothes, watch and ‘jujus’ were also seen beside him too.

Recently, residents described the bush fire as one of the country’s largest one which destroyed timber trees, farm crops, grasses, small ground species – animals in Kiang, Lower River Region (LRR).  Residents, who are also living in fear, have called on the authorities to intervene to ensure annual fire outbreaks in the country are nipped in the bud.