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As NDMA Continues Relief Support, Fire Victims Receive Food & Non-food Items in Bonthe District

Bonthe District, 23 March 2022 – The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) continued its nationwide relief support to fire victims in Bonthe District. Baiama Village in Bonthe Mainland, Sogbini Chiefdom, and Njayahun Village in Bonthe Island, Sittia Chiefdom, were affected by a major fire outbreak that ravaged 7 houses in Baiama Village, affecting 13 households, and 36 houses in Njayahun Village, affecting 38 households and leaving more than 300 people homeless. This response is in line with NDMA’s mandate, as established by law, to respond to victims of such incidents in the country.

On the 27th and 28th of February 2022, the NDMA received reports about the above-mentioned incidents and immediately dispatched its officers to visit the affected villages to conduct a comprehensive assessment and ascertain the cause of the fire outbreak and the affected population. Based on the assessment report, the Agency, through the Office of the President, agreed to effectively respond to the victims in a bid to help them rebuild their respective homes as soon as possible.

In his opening remarks while presenting the items to the victims in both villages, the Director-General (DG), NDMA, Lit. Gen. (Rtd.) Brima Sesay said the Agency is currently on a nationwide provision of relief support to victims of windstorms and fire disasters. He said the response started in Freetown on March 7, adding that it has since been rolled out to Moyamba, Bo, Pujehun and now Bonthe District.

The DG further noted that the relief support is to help the victims rebuild their homes and get them back to normalcy. He said the support is coming directly from the President, HE Julius Maada Bio through the NDMA. He also pointed out that by the end of this nationwide response, the NDMA would have responded to a total of 139 reported disasters across the country since its inception. He also said the response will continue in Kenema, Kailahun, Koinadugu, Falaba and Port Loko Districts respectively in the coming days.

He however admonished that this year, the NDMA will be focusing more on mitigation activities. “Our main focus this year is to ensure we reduce the occurrence of disasters across the country. This means that we are going to adopt strong mitigation mechanisms to avert these happenings. Please, stop the illegal activities within your communities, stop cutting down trees and constructing houses on wetlands, do not leave your home appliances on when going out, always hire the service of professionals electricians to do your installations. Stop cooking inside your houses and adopt preventive measures on how to burn your bushes without a problem”, he advised.

At Baiama Village, the NDMA donated to each of the 13 affected households a 50kg bag of rice, jerry cans, cooking vegetable oil, blankets, soap, and provided 5 bundles of zinc, 5 packets of roofing nails, 5 packets of 4 inches nails and 5 packets of 3 inches nails to the 7 house owners (landlords) to help them reconstruct their houses.

Receiving the items, Alhassan Jalloh, a victim whose house was gutted by the inferno, expressed his profound gratitude to the National Disaster Management Agency for responding to their needs immediately. He said when his house got burnt, he was sleeping in the nearby village because he could not fund the reconstruction of his house.

He went on to state that he is thanking the Government and the NDMA for providing him with the building materials needed to rebuild his house and also providing food items to ensure he puts food on the table. Victims in Njayahun Village, Bonthe Island also received a plethora of response items from the NDMA. Each of the 38 households received a 50kg bag of rice, blankets, jerry cans, vegetable cooking oil and rubber buckets while the 36 house owners received 5 bundles of zinc, 5 packets of roofing nails, 5 packets of 4 inches nails and 5 packets of 3 inches nails respectively.

Jebbeh Momoh, while receiving her package, thanked the President, HE Julius Maada Bio for coming to their aid at such a defining moment. She also thanked the Agency for facilitating the response, adding that when the fire broke out and destroyed their homes, it was the NDMA that first visited them and conducted an assessment and promised to get back to them. She furthered that she was happy that the NDMA honoured its promise.

“We are happy that you promised us and you delivered. These items you have provided will go a long way in helping us reconstruct our homes. It hasn’t been easy for us, we have been sleeping in nearby villages, our children have been suffering, but with this support, we are now sure of rebuilding our homes”, she concluded.

Since its inception, the National Disaster Management Agency has responded to 136 reported incidents/disasters/hazards across the country mainly caused by windstorms and fire outbreaks. The NDMA will continue the provision of relief support to affected victims in the eastern region this week.

The National Disaster Management Agency is committed to managing disaster-related matters across the country with a specific emphasis on Disaster Risk Reduction/Mitigation and effectively responding to the same where applicable.

For any emergency, please call our toll-free line 1199 using any Africell number or the contacts provided below.

For More Enquiries:

Directorate of Communications

National Disaster Management Agency

Contact: +23278388946

Email: mohamedlbah@ndma.gov.sl

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