“Banjul can survive floods if the drainage system is cleared” Says City Disaster Management Coordinator

By Muhammed Sailu Bah

The Banjul Disaster Management Coordinator, Hudul E.N. Colley, said the city can survive floods during the rainy season if the Excavator clearing the canal at Box Bar Roaddrainage system is cleared of blockages.

He said this recently during an interview with this reporter at a drainage outlet clearing exercise in Banjul.

Mr. Colley said this year’s disaster risk reduction preparation is across the board, ranging from the authorities to the grass root.

He said the rehabilitation of the bond polder station is an additional advantage in helping to make the city free from flood.

The Banjul Disaster Coordinator said they have started cleaning the main drainage outlets to remove the blockages caused by the rubbish inside them so as to enable a free flow of water through the main ring canals to the   machine which helps to pump the water into the sea.

He said they are using a heavy machine which was donated by the Japanese to the Gambian government and which is to operate as the Banjul City Council (BCC) buys a minimum of 200 litres of fuel to start it.

Mr. Colley said the present operation of clearing the drainage outlets has commenced a week ago and is expected to be completed in few days.

He said this clearing work which they do before the beginning of the rains was started last year.

“Opening the outlets is one of the preparation mechanisms to ensure that water flows easily. Since we started doing this, the record for floods in the city is minimal,” said the City’s Disaster Coordinator.

Mr. Colley said when it rains; the water only stays for a short time in the streets before emptying itself through the canals to the sea.

“This year we want to see the water flowing direct through the drainage system, because government has invested a lot in the rehabilitation of the pumping station,” said Mr. Colley.

He noted that the Banjul City Council is working closely with his Agency in disaster risk reduction preparedness in the City.

Mr. Colley said people should also take the lead in making sure that their drainages are clean to avoid floods in their communities.

When asked whether he is giving assurance that Banjul will not experience flooding due to the pumping machine at Bund Road, Mr. Colley responded “provided that the inner city drains are cleaned by the people and the outlets are cleared.”

He stressed the importance of cleaning the main drains to help facilitate the flow of waste water coming from the city to pass through it to the main canals.

The Disaster Management Coordinator said the City Council has a backup machine which helps in the pumping of water and commended the people for the support they are giving to the council.