Over 1,000 residents rendered homeless and about 15 houses submerged by sea erosion in Porpor Beach Community New Kru Town, Bushrod Island, Montserrado County’s Electoral District#16.
The entire Bushrod Island, a commercial district, is a coastal area that faces the Atlantic Ocean with a population of several hundred thousand residents. Some of the victims explain to the New Dawn Tuesday that they are now living in the streets, while others are seeking refuge at families’ residences and neighbors’ premises in the district and surrounding districts.
One victim, Robert Savice, narrates that the erosion began on Monday morning, 15April, threatening the community two days before it finally hit them on Wednesday night.
“We never expected the sea erosion to be so dangerous on Monday because it was always off and on for the past four days. It took us unaware, leaving us with nothing”, Savice laments.
He notes that two other communities in the district are under serious attack, including Fongay and Conner West communities, and if nothing were done to stop the erosion, “I’m afraid the D Tweh High School will even be swept out.”
According to him, since the beginning of this tragic incident, victims witness the arrival of two officials of government - Lands and Mines Minister, Gisceler Murray and Public Works Minister Mabotu Nyenpan, “who came and assured us of the government’s commitment in responding to victims.”
However, he notes that since they left scene, their eyes are on the road to see whether the officials will return to take some actions as they promised. According to him, the two officials even went as far as telling the people of New Kru Town to carry on some recruitment through the office of Representative Dixon Seboe, who represents the district, to adequately address their situation.
“Moreover, I want to use this opportunity to call on government and other humanitarian organizations to come to our aid, because we lost everything and we are now in the streets”, Savice pleads.
Another victim, Martha Nah, says she lost all her earthly belongings and needs help seriously. “I’m presently on the street, and have nowhere to go. The government needs to come to our aid now because we are dying slowly as a result of this disaster.”
Another survival of the sea erosion expresses fears that she could be the next victim, calling on government to come in to rescue the situation. “My house is still standing. It is not too far from the sea mouth. Our neighbors are in tears today. Tomorrow, it could be us. So we need to call on the government to take action now before the sea carries this community”, Madam Nah cautiously entreats.
Meanwhile, residents were seen accommodating some of the victims in their houses, while others sought refuge at various homes, crying, “We do not have anywhere to go. We have been asking our local government and the international community to see if they can help the government to help us."
According to them, their houses have been around for years and right now the government is not putting money anywhere to come to their rescue. “We are getting discouraged. We do not know what to do and we do not know where to start from because we do not think the government wants to render us help, because up to now, nothing is being done.”
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne