By Mustapha Jallow
Officers of the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) have apologised to victims of the recent floods at Jabang Housing Estate.
The officers made the apology on 5th of August 2022, during a visit to the affected families at the Estate in order to discuss with them and address their needs, since SSHCF is the sole owner of the estate.
The SSHFC delegation led by the director of housing Abdou Sillah, on behalf of the Managing Director, was accompanied by other SSHCF senior officers. The flood affected over thirty households, rendered others homeless, and forced the closure of one mosque at the Estate.
According to members of the SSHFC DELEGATION, “the visit was meant to meet the affected flood victims and have first-hand information and assess the magnitude of the damages caused by the heavy rain, and find a short term solution to mitigate its effects”.
Abdou Sillah, said the purpose of the visit was to show solidarity with the affected victims and to discuss with them on what can be done as an immediate action to mitigate flooding in the estate.
According to him, the magnitude of the flood this year is unmeasurable and disastrous, and this has gone beyond the capacity of SSHFC and requires collective action and collaboration with other stakeholders to remedy the situation. He confirmed that the residents of Jabang Estate are suffering due to the flood and the situation is horrible and unbearable because over thirty households are seriously affected.
Sillah also apologised to the residents of Jabang Estate on behalf of the Management of SSHFC for the late visit due to other official engagements. He expressed shock at the damages caused by the flood and assured that SSHFC in collaboration with other government agencies like NRA and NDMA, will do everything possible to take immediate action to remedy the situation.
Speaking at the site meeting, Chairperson of JHEDA, Fallu Sowe, first expressed disappointment on their late visit after knowing about the disaster much earlier. He said that over 30 households are seriously affected and are homeless.
Mr. Sowe expressed dismay over the flood calamity that happened in Jabang Estate, saying this could have been prevented if SSHFC responded to their request for the past three years to go there and find a possible solution to the flood when few households were affected over the last two years.
He said today, there are over thirty households and they are suffering. He asserted that this cannot continue, while challenging SSHFC to take immediate action in addressing their concern.
“We were expecting that immediately the incident occurred SSHFC will be the first sympathisers to come and see for themselves, but that was not the case,” Sowe said.
Notwithstanding, he urged SSSHFC to work with government agencies and take immediate action to remedy the situation as it is horrible and sad.
Mr Fabuka Njaay, SSHCF Director of Corporate Affairs, assured the residents of Jabang Estate that it was unfortunate looking at the magnitude of the damages caused by the flood.
However, going forward, he assured them that SSHFC will work closely in collaboration with other agencies such as NDMA and NRA to take immediate action to remedy the situation. He also disclosed that plans are underway to address their concerns.
Njaay promised that SSHFC management will meet over the issues and get back to action.
He also thanked the residents of Jabang Estate for their patience, while promising them more facilities for the Estate to avoid such inconvenience.
For his part, Demba D. Sonko, a resident of Jabang Estate, equally expressed disappointment for the lack of concern by SSHFC to address their concern at the estate. He complained bitterly for lack of drainage and poor road network which could have been the factors at the time of constructing the Estate.