Gambian Windstorms: Government won’t assist affected schools, except those politically connected to authorities — Njie

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Scores of schools and homes in the Gambia have been destroyed windstorms.

The windstorms, which was reported on Thursday July 8, 2021, wrecked havoc households and school structures around the outskirts of Gambia’s capital Banjul.

Many parts of the nation’s urban areas remained without electricity or running water on Thursday evening after utility infrastructure was damaged by heavy winds, rain and flooding.

According to a report, at least 10 people were killed during the storm, which landed around midnight, and more than 1,500 people displaced, according to government figures.

“Any soul lost as a result of a disaster is a big loss to the country,” Sanna Dahaba, who heads Gambia’s Natural Disaster Management Authority, told a news conference on Thursday.

He said the government was not taking the plight of citizens lightly.

Gambian President Adama Barrow held an emergency meeting on Thursday afternoon to assess the damage and devise a response plan, a statement from his office said.

One of the schools affected by the storms

“President Barrow is calling on all Gambians and good samaritans to come forward and support the victims in any way they can while his Government assesses the needed support,” the statement reads.

When contacted by New York Parrot correspondent, Mr Ebrima Njie, the proprietor of Smart Kids Academy Primary and Nursery School, bemoaned losses. He lamented that his school and many others were affected by the storms.

“No, my school was not the only affected school. Ndofan Basic Cycle School, St Michaels Primary School, Kerr Sanyang Basic Cycle and few more schools were badly affected,” Njie lamented.

He added that the accident has disrupted academic activities in all the affected schools. He stressed that school owners are being forced to combine classes accommodate learning.

“Teaching and learning activities are talking place. However, we strategized through multigrading teaching, having two classrooms students in a single class,” he said.

He, however, decried the nonchalant attitude of the government to damage caused by the storms.

A part affected by the Thursday’s storm

Njie said the government would never assist schools in this kind of situation, except school owners who are politically connected with the authorities.

In his words, “Well, hardly do the government assist. However, those that are politically connected to the government are most likely to receive some funds for the demage caused by the windstorm.

“This clearly manifested during the coronavirus pandemic. Until now some schools like mine still owe staff some monthly pays.

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