Liberia: Storm Leaves Hundreds Homeless In Bomi Township
Bomi County — A severe night-time storm that swept across Zepeh Clan, Senjeh District, Bomi County on Tuesday, April 13 left widespread damage, blowing off roofs and leaving some homes uninhabitable.
Families in Gayah Hills Town in Zepeh Clan area were left to pick up the pieces after the violent storm compounded their already desperate living conditions.
At least 100 houses were affected – of which about more than fifty were seriously damaged – and residents lost most of their belongings during the storm. The victims, most of whom are women and children are sleeping in the open, while children are being sheltered into churches and school buildings.
The Town Chief of Gayah Hills Town, Konah Harris who was one of the victims of the storm, said she was asleep in her home when she suddenly felt rain drops on her face.
“When I looked up, I saw that the roof sheets were all gone. Shocked, I took my children and we hid under the bed for cover until the storm passed.
“I have lost everything. And I don’t know what I will do to rebuild my home, she said.”
Another victim, Kemah Scott, said the storm destroyed everything she had. “This rain has destroyed everything. It washed away all my belongings. My house is gone. The pain is unbearable.”
She decided to demolish part of her damaged house as she feared that it would collapse on her while she was sleeping.
“Everything is destroyed. I have nothing. I am alone. I’m standing in the rain. When this happened, I cried until I stopped. I’m unemployed, how will I rebuild it?”
Harris said more than 100 families need to be relocated. “They need to be relocated,” she said.
Gayah Hills Town is one of the oldest towns in Bomi County situated in the Western part of Liberia.
The rapid growing population can be estimated at over 8,000 inhabitants. The town has over two hundred housing units, and the only source of livelihood is farming – mainly rice and cassava.
During the Ebola crisis in 2014, the town lost the only resident doctor to the virus and its livelihood ran into complete shatters.
Harris called on the government and non-governmental organizations to help victims.
She said emergency relief supplies are necessary but other kinds of aid and sustainable development solutions are also essential for victims to restore their livelihoods soon and avoid natural disasters in the future.