Panafrican News Agency

Gambia: Windstorm Kills 10, internally displaces 1,531

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Executive Director of National Disaster Management Agency Sanna Dahaba Thursday confirmed that Wednesday’s powerful windstorm killed 10 people, affected 3,114 and internally displaced 1,531.

Speaking at a news conference held at NDMA Kanifing, about 10km outside Banjul, he described the incident as a very serious one, adding that the speed of the windstorm was estimated to be 85 kilometres per hour.

“This is the first time The Gambia is experiencing this kind of windstorm and it has affected lives and livelihoods. As we speak now, there are ten deaths and they lost their lives as a result of disaster and this is a loss for the nation.

"As we are speaking, 3,114 people have already been affected. There are ten fatalities and 1,531 internally displaced. This is very, very serious,” he said.

Dahaba added: “North Bank Region is hard hit; we recorded about nine deaths in North Bank Region, and West Coast Region, one death.”

The Gambia Red Cross Society launched a disaster relief emergency fund to help address the situation. It loaded three vehicles with relief items, including 250 sleeping mats, 300 bedsheets, 80 small buckets, 1,080 pieces of soap, 276 bottles of Dettol, 300 blankets, 700 reusable facemasks, and 290 bottles of bleach for distribution to the disaster victims.

“About 200 families are severely affected by the windstorm. There is huge need for humanitarian support such as shelter, food, medical, water, sanitation and hygiene products,” the Gambia Red Cross Society said in a statement.

The Gambian leader President Adama Barrow also  summoned an emergency meeting Thursday  to conduct a rapid assessment of the damages and advise the government accordingly.

He has also urged good Samaritans to support in any way they can to ease the burden on affected families while his government assesses the needed support.

“President Barrow extends his deepest condolences and sympathy to the families that lost their loved ones and empathizes with victims, and all those affected throughout the country,” State House said.

-0- PANA MSS/RA  8July2021