Storm Damages School and Leaves Residents Homeless In Zorzor

One of the rooms at the Zorzor Lutheran Mission School that were damaged by the storm. Photo: Zeze Ballah

ZORZOR, Lofa – A storm recently left several residents homeless in Zorzor and caused severe damage to the Lutheran Mission School.

During the morning hours of Oct. 3, a surprise shadow of darkness clouded Zorzor. It was followed by a storm that managed to destroy several homes in the city.

Zubah K. Johnson, the Mayor of Zorzor, said Zozor, Zayeama, Zelegai, Yeani, Kpagai and Guolor were the worst affected communities.

During the storm, residents were seen running scared for their lives, Johnson said, although “nobody sustained an injury in the process.” He said he was in tears as he watched residents gather their remaining belongings as they surveyed the effects of the rain.

zubak Johnson

Zubah K. Johnson, Mayor of Zorzor. Photo: Zeze Ballah

“This was the most severe storm that has hit Zorzor in the last [few] years,” Johnson recalled.

At the Zorzor Lutheran Mission School, Principal Philip B. Johnson said three office buildings were rendered useless, and many school documents were destroyed in the process.

“The 12th-grade class, which hosts 65 students, was also affected by the storm,” he said.

Philip B. Johnson, Principal of Zorzor Lutheran Mission School. Photo: Zeze Ballah

Philip B. Johnson, Principal of Zorzor Lutheran Mission School. Photo: Zeze Ballah

The principal said that the situation at the school was getting worse due to the continuing rain in the area.

Mayor Johnson attributed most of the damage to what he called substandard construction. He blamed carpenters, whose sub-standard work on some of the houses left them vulnerable.

Johnson said many owners who were now homeless would find it tough to reconstruct their houses because roofing sheets are expensive in the area. According to the mayor, a “bundle of zinc costs L$6,500 (US$74).”

 

One of the rooms at the Zorzor Lutheran Mission School that were damaged by the storm. Photo: Zeze Ballah

One of the rooms at the Zorzor Lutheran Mission School that were damaged by the storm. Photo: Zeze Ballah

Johnson urged residents of the city to use high-quality materials in constructing houses.

Although city governments in Liberia are empowered with establishing building codes and zoning regulations, the mayor made no mention of any such action on the part of officials to prevent similar damage in the future.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

 

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. He is also an Internews Health Journalism Fellow.

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