By Mustapha Dumbuya
Kroobay community is one of the slum communities in Freetown in the western area urban constituency 125, ward 431.
Mohamed Papni Kargbo, community secretary-general in an exclusive interview told Public Review that the months of July, August, and September was a time of flooding at Kroobay community every year.
The Secretary-General said within those three months they always experience sickness, loss of houses, and properties. He added that one of the main factors for flooding is the lack of proper drainage system that connects samba and Crocodile gutter.
Mr. Kargbo said Kroobay has a population of 25,800 containing 754 houses and it was divided into 5 different zones. The community is led by the Kroobay Community Steering Group (CSG).
He stated that all houses were registered by the Freetown City Council (FCC) and they have been paying their tax and City rates annularly, adding that the Kroobay Community Disaster management helps to sensitize the community on the preparation for the flooding.
This management has been at the forefront of sensitizing the community weekly and always responds quickly when flooding occurs within the community. He furthered stated that the community stakeholders have written several letters to the president and the vice president in respect of the annual flooding within the community, but there was no response.
He recalled that in 2015 the community witnessed massive flooding which led to the destruction of many houses and properties at Kroobay. Yet he declared that the previous government did nothing to ameliorate the problem.
Chairman also applauded the new direction government for the response and aid given to them during a fire disaster a few months back. He stated that most times the Non- Governmental Organizations(NGOs) aided them with building materials.
He called on the new direction to intervene on their behalf by constructing the main drainage that always overflows during the months of July, August, and September. He said, “the government should not take the people from the slum but to take the slum from the people.”
Mariama Kamara, a resident at Kroobay slum community said she has been residing in the community for over 35 years and that she is a breadwinner and mother of 6 children.
Mariatu also revealed that her husband died during the 2014 Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone that led to the loss of thousands of lives in the country.
“I find it very difficult to feed my children especially during the coronavirus pandemic which makes most of us lose our little capital for business. I have been surviving selling cosmetic to survive and take care of my children,” she said.
She said the Kroobay community is in a deplorable state and lacks basic facilities such as water, health facilities, and proper drainage system, adding that it is only the government that will be able to provide these facilities for the community.