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WASHs flood reports spark Lawmakers' intervention

Augustine Myers/Jos Gareno Cephas
The Lawmakers in section
The Lawmakers in section

( 17, 2015)-Following a robust media focus on the recent flooding in and around Monrovia by the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia, the House of Representatives have underscored the need for government’s intervention.

As part of the intervention, the Laws makers have underscored putting in place the proper mechanism to swiftly deal with the issue of continuous flooding.

The Lawmakers has therefore asked the Ministry of Public Works to enforce the Zoning Laws of Liberia to contain  the flooding that continues to wreak havoc annually, especially during rainy season.

According to the Lawmakers, it was regrettable that Liberians continue to suffer from flooding during heavy down pour, blaming it on the cloaking of drainages and the illegal construction of structures on waterways and alleys.  

The Liberian Lawmakers, mostly Legislators were speaking in a regular session, following reports of flooding in and around Monrovia, that has left several persons homeless and properties destroyed.

The Legislators pointed out that when the waterways are cleared, there will be free flow of water through drainages that will reduce the threat of flooding.

They expressed fear that if the situation is not curtailed as soon as possible, it could trigger serious health problems to the detriment of the population.

Meanwhile, Plenary has mandated the House's Committee on Public Works to liaise with the Ministry of Public Works to put in place measures aimed at addressing the zoning problems and report in two weeks.

In a related development, Assistant Public Works Minister for Community Services, George Yarngo  said: “The recent flooding in and around Monrovia is indeed very unfortunate”.  

Assistant Minister Yarngo is his response to the publication by the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia, however said several factors are responsible for this action of nature.

According to him, floods are a result of obstruction of any form - narrow passage of waterway during heavy down pour or narrow and outlived drainage, blocked drainage, and increased retention time for free flow of water, among others.

The WASH has  noted that  some of the resulting factor is the contamination of  lack of resilient planning towards climate change adaption.

"It can all be sumarized into one - land use planning, especially when this scale of misery is experienced" Assistant Minister Yarngo asserted.

According to him, there is no need to lay the blame entirely on any segment of society.
He said the solution is important - hard thinking and proper action that may result into the pains of development.

On the issue of the contamination of wells, the WASH Champion said, it is practical to sink wells in flood prone areas but with better technology - casting in-situ or casting well rings that prevent infiltration of surface run-off at estimated height above flood levels.

"Sorry to say that even piping networks, especially broken ones are subject to contamination, stressing that the final thing is that we must always remember that every year has a rainy season", Assistant Minister Yarngo concluded.


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