KWENDIN, Nimba – As the rainy season gets into full swing, victims of an April 26 rainstorm in Kwendin Township are asking for assistance in rebuilding their homes to ensure they are sheltered from the elements.
The storm left 16 houses completely damaged, 22 partially de-roofed, and 42 with minor damages. The acting township commissioner told The Bush Chicken that 1,577 persons were now homeless because of the disaster. Commissioner Emmanuel Thompson said, with the rainy season in full force, his people need the urgent intervention of the National Disaster Management Agency and other humanitarian organizations to ensure that the storm victims have shelter.
Since the disaster, Thompson said the only interventions by the government have been through visits by Rep. Jeremiah Koung of the first district and Rep. Johnson Gwaikolo of the ninth district. During their visits, the lawmakers donated twenty bundles of metal roofing sheets to the victims. However, there has been no institutional intervention, although two separate assessments were done by the county administration and the local chapter of the Red Cross in Tappita. Thompson said those two groups have not yet provided any assistance.
Responding to natural disasters is the legal responsibility of the National Disaster Management Agency. After each disaster, the agency is supposed to assess the level of damage and the number of individuals and structures affected in order to solicit and coordinate donations from partners.
An assessment conducted by an engineer in partnership with the district authority estimated that materials costing US$14,554 would be needed to repair the homes. These materials include metal roofing sheets, pieces of planks, and nails.
In the absence of assistance from any organization, the township is pulling together its resources to support the victims. Each resident has agreed to pay L$500 (US$2.52) while the victims are paying L$1500 (US$7.58). The funds will be used to produce planks and purchasing other necessary materials while the township awaits outside assistance.
Featured photo by Jerry Myers