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Heavy Rains Kill Four, Displaces 16

Heavy Rains Kill Four, Displaces 16 thumbnail

A heavy downpour of rain left at least seven dead on Thursday July 4, in west of the capital Freetown, and the evacuation of sixteen families in the east of Freetown on Friday July 5, following a continuation of the same heavy downpour of rains.

Four people lost their lives at Congo-Town/Grey-Bush environs including a five year old child in the unholy hours of Friday morning when a torrent of water evaded their make-shift shanties whilst they were fast asleep.

Tons of rags in the nearby dump site covered the escape routes the inmates would have used, only to later discover their remains laying haplessly.

Residents in the area told Sierra Express Media on site that the houses were near a weir planted to prevent flood water in the vicinity.

One Mr. Abdulla Turay an elderly person told our reporter that the swift intervention of youths in the area was what narrowed down the number of victim casualties in the community – meaning more could have died on the scene.

He said they called on the National Power Authority (NPA) during the incident to cut their power supply of electricity in the area, which they did immediately, and helped in saving souls of the other possible victims.

Two elderly persons also lost their lives at Dwazak community and a little kid in the gushing water from the hillside. Eyewitnesses say the torrent of water brought with it boulders and other particles that hit the two men dead.

Residents at the Tengbeh town community woke-up in the morning without access as filth had blocked the main road denying people access to their free movement.

The newly constructed drainage system built by Chinese contractors at the Congo-Cross, Murray Town axis could not contain the amount of rain and rubbish that came from the hills and resulted in flooding the entire junction of Wilkinson Road, Murray Town Road, and Banana-Water.

Mr. Benjamin, who is a resident of Banana-Water, explained that even though they are residing away from the sea-edge, with their houses well fenced, water still came disturbing them.

There were so many cases of vehicles plying the municipality that ended up in ditches including pedestrians as efforts of onlookers were thwarted by the enormous water on the roads.

The flooding incident also left its prints in the east of the capital where sixteen families have been displaced. Two makeshift structures including a mud house were washed off at Moa Wharf off Fourah Bay road and Kolbot off Kissy road respectively.

A victim, Fatmata Sesay of No. 5A Kissy Brook, said she was fast asleep when the water broke through their house and destroyed all their properties worth Millions of Leones.

Mohamed Sankoh of Moa Wharf said the Ola During Hospital (Cottage) fence fell on their roof and provided a leeway for the gushing water which destroyed all their belongings. Another incident accounted a similar story as water flooded the out-patient ward of the Connaught Hospital, in central Freetown.

Chief Superintendent of Police Mohamed Job, attached at the Congo Cross Police Division blames the flooding on the manner in which houses were being constructed in prohibited areas such as the slums communities and catchment areas.

He questioned the methods used for the construction of such houses which he said are  poor makeshift structures that are easily  washed away.

Meanwhile the government is still expected to come up with a position statement on these recent casualties, which coincide with the demise of the president’s mother, Madam Alice Rosaline Koroma.  May all their souls Rest in Peace.

By E. Awotell-Cole & Emma Black

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