The most critical and far-reaching damage was found to be in the areas of housing and infrastructure. Given the poor construction of houses and the lack of planning for settlement, many houses located in lowland areas or water ways, collapsed partially if not entirely leaving a total of 6,835 persons displaced in the aftermath. The flooding is exacerbated by the poor maintenance and illegal waste disposal, which cause blockages and overflowing of the drainage systems in urban areas, particularly in the Greater Banjul Area, Kanifing Municipality, and Upper River Region.
Concerning water and sanitation, drinking water sources have been flooded and potentially contaminated by run off water. Also, a rise in diarrhoeal diseases, malaria, skin, eye and acute respiratory infections has been recorded whereby some health facilities were found to be short on supplies, reducing their response capacity in case of a disease outbreak. Furthermore, the quality and access to education has been threatened in some cases by occupation of school facilities by displaced persons.
From a food and agriculture perspective, food stocks have been damaged, livestock lost and harvest crops destroyed, often hitting the subsistence farmers in rural farming communities who fully rely on those means as source of food and income. The majority of both rural and urban households have reduced the quantity and frequency of meals while resorting to other coping strategies such as borrowing from neighbours and relying on remittances. They are also in need of additional cash to recover damaged housing and to purchase food given the loss of crops for own consumption in addition to the usual expenses in terms of school fees and health services. This will deteriorate household purchasing power and negatively impact food access.
The Gambia is a least developed and low-income, food-deficit country with a predominantly subsistence agrarian economy....