The Ministry of Health has already warned of a cholera outbreak in the sub-region and advised Gambians to be vigilant. Records also have it that over 700 people have so far been displaced in the Kanifing Municipality alone by last week’s torrential rains. Given these two realities, it is important that we revisit our water management system and overall environmental sanitation. The urban drainage canals is the centre of focus.
We have always stated herein that it was a welcome development when the government commenced the construction of major and feeder roads as well as a central drainage system around the Greater Banjul Area. There was massive jubilation from all corners that the dreams of transforming the country into a modern nation state are a step closer to reality. There was also the belief that the problem of flooding and stagnant waters inundating the community during the wet season would become a thing of the past.
However, around some of our roads, the drainage canals have been left uncovered especially from the Nawec head office towards Old Jeswang on the Mamadi Maniang Highway, thus making them hovels of accumulated rubbish and foul odour, as well as perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, bacteria and other water-borne diseases.
It’s because of this that the drainage canals have been left uncovered; flooding has become a persistent phenomena.It is obvious that the uncovering of the canals has left them at the mercy of garbage as people transform the canals into dustbins. This reality aside, other variables make the canals unable to drain off water after a downpour, thus making it easy for rainwater to easily flood the communities.
Secondly, we are all aware that our street vendors always sit near these uncovered canals to sell, and consider the fact that the accumulation of garbage in the cannel means they are homes for harmful bacteria. With the items particularly foodstuff sold by the street vendors at the mercy of the wind, how would the health of the people be guaranteed?Until this is checked, public health would continue to be compromised.
This state of the drainage canals is indeed frustrating considering the immense efforts of the leadership to achieve the highest for the country and the huge costs involved in the construction of the drainage systems. The responsible authority should therefore look into the issue and ensure that the drainage canals as envisaged by the president serve their intended purpose.
Those responsible for managing the drainage system should also endeavour to put in place a good maintenance team to ensure that the canals are kept clean at all times and protected in a manner that would allow only water to pass through. This is fundamental because the importance of a drainage system in the development of a country cannot be overemphasised.
Those who are therefore tasked to supervise and maintain the achievements registered for the common good must live up to expectation.
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