Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why nothing gets done in the rainy season...

It's the rainy season in Guinea now. People live at the mercy of the elements here. Yesterday I got caught in a flash flood while trying to go to one of the neighborhood markets in Conakry. When I left the house, there was no rain. By the time I got to the market, it was sprinkling. I stopped by a tailor to drop off some fabric and by the time I was ready to go, it was pouring. I thought I'd wait for it to ease up, but instead, the situation got worse.


Unfortunately, cities are not prepared for large downpours. There are some ditches for runoff, but unfortunately, they usually get filled with trash and eroded dirt, making the water spill over. And in a case such as a major downpour like today, there is just nowhere for that quantity of water to go. It just overflows the ditches and streets like a raging river, flowing down in the quickest path towards the ocean it can. Since there are no real sewer and advanced plumbing systems either, this means everything gets swept up. Raging rivers of sheer filth.

The rain started letting up, but the river still raged. It was strong enough at its peak to push grown men off their feet. Traffic was a gridlock. After waiting for over an hour and a half, you could start to see the road again under the river. Cars and people started to tentatively move. I made a break for it, grabbed a few things from the corner store for lunch, and wadded back to the house. Once back, I immediately took a shower and tried to disinfect the lower half of my body...

2 comments:

Norm & Debra said...

Which market where you in? Our street has never been that bad! Thanks for sharing, it's fun to read someone else's take on the city of Conakry

mary said...

thanks for reading! This was at the Taouyah market.