July 20, 2015 By Victoria Saffa
The home town of President Ernest Bai Koroma, Makeni, was hit by flood early Thursday, 16 July after a heavy downpour.
The areas that were seriously affected include Magburaka Road, Azzolini Highway, Lunsar Road and Mabanta Road – major thoroughfares in the city. Properties worth millions of leones were reported to have been destroyed as many houses submerged in flood water, living scores of inhabitants homeless.
According to one of the victims, Adama Kamara, it started raining at about 4:30am when many of the victims were already up to prepare for the day’s Muslim fasting. She said the flood left hundreds of inhabitants displaced, adding that, “My house and property have been destroyed”.
The Mabanta Road resident added that local rice traders who had stocked their wares in a mill along the popular street could not retrieve a grain from the flood as dozens of bags of rice were destroyed. She said furniture from a nearby furniture store was also swept away in the deluge.
Another victim, a resident of Magburaka Road, Alpha Sesay, told Concord Times the flood was caused by poorly constructed canals in the swampy city and narrow bridges constructed by SALCOST in the ongoing roads work in the city.
“My family is on the street and we don’t have a place to go as all my property have been destroyed,” he lamented and pleaded: “I am therefore calling on well-wishers and the government to help us as many of us are presently homeless, without clothes to wear.”
Meanwhile, Chief Administrator of the Makeni City Council, William Alpha, who was also out on the street helping victims of the flood, described the disaster as “catastrophic and devastating”. He said: “It will take a year for victims of the flood to recover from the shock and loss,” and encouraged them to be strong even in the face of such adversity.