Weather : Floods affect thousands in Gambia after heaviest rainfall in decades

The Gambia recorded its heaviest rainfall in more than 30 years last weekend, causing widespread flooding and at least two deaths, the government said on Wednesday, blaming climate change for the extreme weather.

Torrential rain started on Saturday morning and continued for more than 20 hours in parts of the West African country, said the Department of Water Resources.

The highest rainfall measured over that period was 276mm at Banjul International Airport, compared with a previous record of 175.4mm in July 1998, it said.

“It is the worst flooding I have ever seen in the Gambia,” said Sanna Dahaba, executive director of the National Disaster Management Agency. “This is attributed to climate change, there’s no doubt about that.”

Two children died and an estimated 13 000 households were affected by the floods, he said, as heavy rain continued on and off throughout the country.

Gambia is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including floods, drought, sea level rise and heatwaves, according to the World Bank. Its capital Banjul is situated on a peninsula where the Gambia River flows into the Atlantic Ocean……….The following can be found on