The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), through its Directorate of Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness together with the Sierra Leone Road Authority (SLRA) and the Engineering Unit of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) have on July 4th, 2023 completed a joint assessment of a drainage at Beccles Street said to be 6 meters deep and has narrowed the road making it very dangerous for motorists and pedestrians residing at Wellington in the East End of Freetown who are using that road.
The assessment was precipitated by a distressing report received by the Agency from a resident within the community on the deplorable status of the road and its environmental exposure to lives and property and other critical infrastructures within the community.
Speaking on the purpose of the visit, the Director of Disaster Risk Reduction at NDMA, Thomas Lebbie, stated that the visit is aimed at doing a thorough assessment in order to holistically understand the various risks, exposures and vulnerabilities residents and critical infrastructures are exposed to within the Wellington community.
“The joint visit brought together different professional perspectives leading to a more holistic assessment for onward decision making on the current state of Beccles Street and its associated risks and inconveniences to residents within the community,” he added.
During the assessment, the team held a couple of discussions with residents in the area. Detailed questions were asked to get an in-depth understanding of the cause(s) that led to the current status of the road and its attendant effects. It was observed that there has been massive degradation up the hills in the Wellington community which in turn has negatively impacted Beccles Street, Philip Street and Melon Street.
It was also observed that several electrical poles with one major transformer are critically exposed to slope failure in the events of flooding and put the lives of residents and school-going pupils in danger at the Municipal Primary School in Wellington as the transformer is situated right inside the primary school compound.
The assessment team is expected to submit a comprehensive report and engage MDAs that are crucial in addressing the risk at Beccles Street for prompt action.
It could be recalled that the NDMA, through its Directorate of Disaster Risk Reduction, commenced some major flood mitigation activities across Freetown in October 2022 which have helped greatly to minimize the occurrence and impact of flooding in Freetown.