Tamba Borbor reports from the disaster scene
Tuesday July 12, 2005
Seven people have lost their lives during the heavy downpour of rain in the early hours of Sunday July10th. The incident took place in a slum area, which is divided into two- one forming part of an area called Quarry while the other is just back of the Government Independence School at Kissy, Shell.
In the Quarry area of the slum, which Cocorioko visited, four women and a young boy were killed in their mud house while asleep at around 2:30am on Sunday morning, when a large concentration of water swept down the slope, uprooting a mango tree and dragging along very big stones. The five were identified as: Mrs. Sallay Gbla, the mother of the four who used to sell ?fry-fry’ around Shell Lorry Park; Osman, Zainab, Mabinty and Maseray Gbla.
However, two other members of the family- a girl identified as Kadiatu and her younger brother, Abu Bakarr Gbla were rescued from under the rubble and quickly taken to the Rokupr Satellite Clinic were they are receiving urgent medical attention. About five gallant men in the neighbourhood were spotted digging to pull from the rubble, the last of the five, Osman Gbla who was squeezed to death by a very big stone and the rolling mango tree.
Crowds comprising weeping relatives of the deceased, neighbours and onlookers were seen expectantly waiting to witness while the young boy was being dug out. The 62-year old father of the deceased is said to have travelled to Masimera village in the Port Loko district when the incident occurred and was expected back Sunday night. In the other part of the slum area just back of Independence School at Kissy Shell, two brothers met their deaths in the same manner as the five in the Quarry area, while asleep on that same Sunday.
The slum area generally is a place that lacks proper drainage systems; experiencing perennial landslides as a result of water finding its way- mostly passing through mud houses built on the sloppy end of the slum. Police are reported to have advised the remaining residents to move from the area, inorder to forestall a recurrence of the sad incident. The corpses have been taken to the Connaught hospital, where they will be handed over to relatives for burial. Meanwhile, an area back of Race Course called- ?Callbut’ is reported to have flooded due to the rains of early Monday morning. Report indicates that if there is another heavy downpour, all the houses in the area would be carried away with its attendant consequences.