Gambians at home and abroad are applauding the leader of the Gambia Democratic Congress Mamma Kandeh for his quick response to help flood victims of Kuntaur and surrounding villages in the Central River Region of The Gambia.
The region experienced heavy downpour of torrential rains on Saturday 26th August that led to the bursting of the banks of River Gambia. Videos of the devastating floods on social media shows homes turn to rivers that destroyed valuables.
On a visit to the affected areas, Mamma Kandeh donated 220 bags of rice and D 30,000 (£500) to school children who have lost their stationaries.
Residents of about 137 homes were evacuated to safety through local solidarity initiatives. The Gambia Government has been under criticism for not being able to urgently respond to the situation.
Speaking to local reporters in Kuntaur, opposition leader Kandeh calls for respect and constructive engagement in shaping the affairs of the country.
“Let us understand that this is a country we all share. We are all equal in this country. Our aims and objectives are to develop this country.”
The magnitude of Kandeh`s generosity towards community development since the launching of the GDC has been a subject of debate. Some accused him of political opportunism. Activist Tukulor Sey, a supporter of the Coalition Government wrote on her facebook timeline: “Warning Coalition: While you’re quiet about Kuntaur, Kandeh is there. Even if this is political opportunism, they will not forget.”
However, for prominent blogger Sulayman Jeng, uncelebrated Kandeh is ‘standing shoulder to shoulder with the victims’. He wrote: “Our hypocrisy and selfishness nauseate. You can love or hate Kandeh but the dude isn’t a traitor neither does he forsake his people in need.”
On Gainako Radio, Local MP Alhagie Sillah says private citizens have been supporting the victims and the public broadcaster GRTS was invited to cover the devastation for onwards transmission to the government.
A gofundme page has been created by Isatou Baldeh a Gambian based in the US to support the flood victims. To donate click on Niani/Sami Disaster Relief fund.