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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mbappa Braces up for Another Yearly Ordeal

Biran Mbye

By Abdoulie Nget
The heavy floods that claimed the life of a young boy in the rural village of Mbappa Mariga in 1984 is a tragedy the villagers could not put out of their minds, over two decades on. And yet the fear of re-occurrence of a similar tragic incident is well and alive in the village.
“A series of rain-related tragic incidents have occurred in the village every rainy season for the past many years,” Mr Biran Mbye, a villager who has fallen victim of floods many times told The Daily News.
“Our household belongings have been washed away, houses brought down to its knees and livelihoods destroyed on yearly basis,” he said. “If we are left unhelped, who knows who will be the next victim?”
Mbappa Mariga is a remote border village in Sabackh Sanjal constituency in the North Bank region. The village is situated about 13 kilometers away from the North Bank region’s provincial capital, Farrafenni.
As a subsistence farming community, preparations are in high gear in the village for the upcoming cropping season. The rains are expected to drop soon and villagers are busy clearing up their farms.
Rainy season is a moment every person in the village yearns for as it provides them with what they would feed on, cloth in until another season.
But the fear of rain-related disasters that have been plaguing the villagers appears to have overshadowed whatever good the villagers anticipate to get from the rains.
Biran in action
Although no live was lost to rain-related disasters since the 1984 tragic incident, the destruction the floods caused is enormous, the villagers decry.
As Mbye puts it, the yearly flood is pushing the villagers economically backward.
“As subsistence farmers we end up spending the small money we generate from our farms to rebuild our houses. That is painful because most of us are only able to grow what is enough for the survival of our family.”
Livestock is not spared by the flood-related disasters as a countless number of domestic animals dying as a result of the floods, according to the villagers.
The topography of the village doesn’t provide enough escape route for the rain water. This is worsened by deep trenches created in the middle of the village by erosion. These trenches are increasing in size and depth with every rains.
As another rainy season approaches, the villagers are bracing up for another yearly ordeal.
But with a boost from government or others, the village can be spared. According to Mr Mbye, what the village needs is to do is to seal the trenches – a task neither the money nor the machines required to do is at their disposal.
He calls on the government and relevant authorities to help them with the facilities inorder to be saved from rain-related disasters.

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