Flood victims of Mabela are currently in a difficult situation because there is no safe water to drink around their area, as taps and wells got contaminated with piles of rubbish during the Monday night rainfall. Many structures along the Sawmill drainage were washed away and habitants now lack water, food and shelter. Abubakarr Barrie, a flood victim told AWOKO “people are using contaminated water that runs through a sewage pipe to the drainage.”
The sewage pipe according to Abubaker is running from Sawmill but many other sewage pipes are connected to the drainage as a point of waste disposal by most of the inhabitants.
The water running through the sewage pipe is contaminated and poses a health hazard according to health experts. The waters stink, salty and colored. In addition inhabitants walk or swim through the flow of rubbish and sewage among pigs and dogs roaming about freely rendering the whole environment unhealthy.
The entire drainage area is cramped and clustered with jerry cans and water fetching containers, broken bottles scattered at random. Children below the ages of 10 and 15 totting or holding containers is a common disturbing sight at the slum. Also a common activity is children playing with piles of rubbish among mad dogs and dirty pigs in careless abandon. .
A mother of five named Kadiatu Sesay said “we are at this slum on the mercy of God because there is no pure water to drink; children are always affected by Cholera, diarrhea and Malaria’.
She added, “I am sorry for slum dwellers particularly the flood victims; we are suffering like hell in our own country. Please help us now,” as she cried bitterly in front of our reporter, cameraman and other disaster victims.
James Koroma, who operates a clinic at the site said they are overwhelmed with the high number of cases reported at the clinic because most of the patients do not have the money to pay their medical bills. Koroma also said that most of the Guma Valley Water Company taps installed in the slum are not functioning well.
He also disclosed that patients normally report water borne and malaria related diseases. He added that the people are living in abject poverty subjected to neglect, marginalization, under development and generally lacking in basic social amenities.