A ravaging storm has made hundreds of residents homeless in towns across Montserrado County, worsening victims’ conditions in a county placed under lockdown as part of measures by Liberian authorities in combating coronavirus which has infected 91 and killed eight persons.
Following the devastating night – time incident early Saturday, 18 April, there were outcries by victims over entire rooftops of their houses and school facilities being completely removed in some affected communities, leaving them stranded.A heavy downpour that night also flooded other homes, compelling some victims to contemplate on relocating.
There were calls over the weekend for humanitarian assistance and government support for victims in Gardnerville, New Georgia, Barnerville and other places across the county.In the wake of the disaster, the government here has placed building material stores among the essential businesses allowed to operate for a prescribed time during the lockdown to afford victims the opportunity to purchase materials to renovate their homes.
Visiting some of the affected communities during the early morning hours on Saturday, our reporter saw several victims collecting their belongings from roofless buildings to pack them in nearby homes which have temporarily offered to host the homeless.
According to Sarah Geeplay, one of the victims in the Kebbah Community, the entire roof of her house got damaged, lamenting that it is very difficult for her family to immediately repair the damaged roof due to the lack of money while going through a lockdown in the country.
“As you can see, the storm destroyed my house and right now we don’t have any money on us to say we will fix the roof today or the soonest possible time,” Sarah tells our reporter.She narrates that she no longer engages in the little business she was doing prior to the lockdown imposed by government in the wake of the increasing coronavirus cases here.
“We already lockdown, finding food to survive is challenging, then, talking about fixing roof. My son, no money,” she continues.Madam Geplay who has 10 dependents calls on the government and other humanitarian organizations to come to her aid, saying with frustration that she didn’t know where she and her dependents are going sleep as others are observing the preventive measures put in place by the government.
Another victim in the Beinwein Community, Prince Chea tells our reporter that while he and his family were asleep, the heavy storm took away the roof of his house, leaving them homeless until a Church came to their rescue by providing them two bedrooms in the Church compound.
Mr. Chea who and his family lived in a three – apartment house prior to the incident, notes that the incident has now compelled him and his wife, children, sisters, mother and father to live together in the two bedrooms given to them by the Church.
“It is seriously frustrating for us right now. This has never happened to us all our years in this community. Speaking with you now everywhere [is] closed, no business running, you can’t run to anyone for credit and even if you have money, where you will find material to buy,” Mr. Chea laments.At the Hill Top City Community, other victims were seen moving with their belongings from one end to another.
By Ben P. Wesee—Edited by Winston W. Parley