Sunday, February 5, 2023

Jabang Estate Residents Renew Compensation Demands, Call For Drainage Construction

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By Assan Bah

Residents of Jabang Estate in the West Coast Region of the Gambia, have renewed their compensation demands from the government and call for the construction of a proper drainage system so that runoff water during the rainy season, can easily flow without wreaking havoc on residents. Speaking to this medium on Monday January 16th 2023, the estate residents opined that the construction of proper drainage, will prevent or lower the risk of flooding during the rainy season.

Readers could recall that last year’s rainy season caused flooding at the aforementioned estate and destroyed over thirty households, rendering dozen others homeless. This led to the subsequent demolition of some compounds and fences which were believed to be hindering the easy flow of water out from the estate. The disaster prompted a visit by officials from the Presidency, National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), and the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), to discuss with the affected families on ways to ensure that their needs are addressed.

Yusupha Sey, a resident said they have not received any compensation from the government even though they promised to compensate them to re-build their demolished fences by government agents, to allow runoff water from the unprecedented rains of last year to pass. He also disclosed that no work has started on the drainage system promised to them by the Government, in order to prevent the reoccurrence of flooding in the estate. He said they have neither heard nor saw any government official or agent since they made a survey in the area and call on them to fulfil their promises and compensate them.

Ansumana Darbo a landlord whose fence was demolished said “since the incident occurred we have never received a single letter from the government informing us of what actually happened, or to accept responsibility or apologise to us directly, or to come up with a plan for the area.” He confirmed that he has not received anything from either the SSHFC or Physical Planning Department, since his fence was demolished.

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“We did not allocate the lands for ourselves. The lands were provided by the Social Security and I believe if due process was done, this would not have happened,” he said. He called on the responsible authorities to meet the house owners and discuss ways to remedy the situation.

Lamin Fofana, also a resident at the said estate, said as the rains approach, they are yet to see any sign of construction on the promised drainage and water canals up to now.

Fofana implores on the government to start this work as soon as possible, and avoid a repetition of last year’s flooding.

Meanwhile, Fabuka Njaay of SSHFC and the Director of Corporate Affairs, were engaged by this medium to shed light on both the compensations and drainage promises made to the said estate ddwellers. He however asked this medium to be given more time to dwell on the matter but is yet to make any comment on the issue up to now.

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