LIBERIA: Severe Flood Hits Grand Cape Mount Leaving one Dead, Bo Waterside Badly Affected

Severe flooding has taken place in Grand Cape Mount County leaving properties including houses destroyed and making hundreds of citizens and residents homeless.

A 16 year old boy of Nagbena Town reportedly died while attempting to flee and got drowned in the process after his town was surrounded by the flood.

The flooding has also left farms and crops destroyed over the last 4 days, thereby increasing the hardship of the people, most of whom are unemployed.

Most of the citizens and residents depend on farming, hunting and fishing activities for livelihood and sustainability.

According to a release from the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia, the flood started Thursday, following hours of heavy rain.

WASH Journalists visited Grand Cape Mount County over the weekend and witnessed flooding in most of the communities in Tewor District, up to Sunday.

The flooded communities are Bo Waterside, Nagbena, Kobolia, Amina, and Jaliebah. Others are Bandor, Bombohun, Jenneh Liberia, Gambia, and Gondama.

The latest flooding is largely blamed on the Mano River. The flooding caused by   heavy down pull of rain and the over flooding of the Mano River along the frontier of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Citizens and residents in the affected areas informed WASH Journalists that it is the first of its kind for such a flooding to take place in their respective communities. Some however said such major flooding usually occur every after 5-10 years.

The area worst affected is the Baptist Compound in Bo Waterside. The Compound established in 2011 has a Hospital, Senior High School, and Residential Quarters for Nurses and Teachers.

All of the facilities in the Baptist Compound were hard hit by the flood, damaging thousands of United States dollars worth of properties, including newly arrived medical equipment and drugs, educational materials and computers, among others brought in the country.

Authorities of the Baptist Compound described the flood as devastating and beyond imagination.  

In an interview with WASH Journalists, the Doctor assigned at the Richard and Ellen Devous Hospital (Baptist Compound), Dr. Tatteh Banca said the disaster has caused serious setback to the operation of the facility.

Dr. Banca disclosed that the facility is not only providing medical assistance to citizens and residents of Grand Cape Mount County, but also Sierra Leoneans who live closer to the border.

He noted that a state of the art (modern) X-ray and ultrasound machines recently provided to the Hospital by donors have been destroyed by the flood.

The Officer in charge at the Hospital, Ophelia Folley, disclosed that the digital X-ray machine was expected to be installed by an expert who is on his way from the United States of America.

Madam Folley noted that the damage caused by the flood will take a considerable time to get the Hospital operational once again.

She revealed several of their patients were evacuated to other parts of Bo Waterside for safety, describing the present condition at the Baptist Compound as pathetic.

For her part the Bo Waterside Commissioner, Madam Clarissa Passawe, described the situation as distressful and needs urgent intervention from government and the international community.

The Commissioner said at present, some of the affected persons are currently residing at the Cross Border Trade Women Organization offices and at her 10-bed room house in the community.

Madam Passawe said as the result of the situation, there is a serious health hazard looming in the area, due to the lack of sanitation facilities.

She disclosed that Bo Waterside with thousands of residents, does not even have a public toilet.

She said before the flood, many of the residents were involved in open defecation using nearby bushes to defecate, adding that water sources are also contaminated.

The Commissioner said flood victims are in need of food, medicine and mattresses.

Commenting on the situation, a Christian charity, Lutheran Development Service/Act Alliance Emergency Focal Person said modalities are been worked out by his organization to assist residents affected by the flood.

Mr. Vandi V. Kallon said his organization is considering a Resettlement Package for affected persons of the flood communities in Grand Cape Mount County.

Mr. Kallon stressed that the situation is an emergency that needs the collective efforts of all, to urgently bring relief to the flood victims.

The LDS/Act Alliance Emergency Focal Person is meanwhile calling on the government of Liberia, both local and international organizations to assist the flood victims with relief items.

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