Kabala Town, Koinadugu District, 31st March 2022 – The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), through the Office of the President, continued its relief support to the Northern Region where direct cash transfers, amounting to Two Hundred and Thirty-Three Million Leones (Le233, 000,000) was provided to business people in Kabala Town who suffered a major fire outbreak that completely ravaged their businesses.
It could be recalled that on 15th January and 27th February 2022, two fire incidents in Kabala Town (Clock Tower and Cow yard section) were reported, impacting a total of 30 businesses. Each of the 30 business owners received a maximum of Ten Million Leones (Le10, 000,000) and a minimum of One Million Leones (Le1, 000,000), depending on the nature of their lost businesses. The provision of direct cash transfer to victims who lost their ‘businesses’ to either fire or other considered forms of disasters is in line with NDMA’s policy to provide such victims start-up capital to enhance their livelihoods.
The NDMA also visited Lunsar Township, where a total of 66 houses were destroyed by a heavy windstorm affecting 226 households and 10 public facilities which include 6 Schools, 1 Community Center, 1 Church and 1 Vocational Centre. The Agency distributed a bag of 50kg of rice, jerry cans, soap, blankets, vegetable cooking oil and rubber buckets to each of the 226 households and further provided 5 bundles of zinc, 5 packets of roofing nails, and 5 packets of 4 and 3 inches to each of the 66 house owners (landlords) while each of the 10 public facilities received 10 bundles of zinc, 10 packets of roofing nails and 10 packets of 4 and 3 inches nails to cushion the effect and help them rebuild.
NDMA’s Director-General, Lit. Gen. (Rtd) Brima Sesay, started by explaining why it took this long to respond to the victims, especially in Lunsar. He said the windstorm incidents in Lunsar occurred on November 4th 2021 and the following day was the day the whole nation was shocked by the Wellington fuel tanker explosion that killed over 150 people. He went on to state that the Agency was overwhelmed with the response to the Wellington inferno.
The DG also pointed out that the establishment of NDMA was the sole idea of HE Julius Maada Bio, adding that it was a campaign promised to separate the Disaster Management Department from the Office of National Security (ONS) in order to ensure effective management of disasters across the country. He said the President cares for his people, that is why, when disaster strikes his people, devoid of their geographical locations and/or tribe, the President has always ensured the provision of relief items to victims across the country. He further admonished the victims to refrain from cutting down trees or engaging in harmful activities within their communities. He said they should be vigilant in protecting their neighbourhoods by minimizing the occurrence of such hazards.
Also, in attendance was the Resident Minister, North West Region, Hon. Alhaji Alpha Kanu who commended the NDMA for its swift response to the victims and as well admonished them to desist from activities that are harmful to the environment. He said just before the 2018 elections, the United Nations conducted a study and issued a report that Sierra Leone is the third most disaster-prone country in the world. And as such, people’s illegal activities that are liable to cause disasters are discouraged within communities.
Paramount Chief Koblo Qee of Marampa Chiefdom was also in attendance and said his people were happy to receive relief support from the government through the NDMA. He mentioned that the heavy windstorm experienced by his people had a devastating toll on them but that he was extremely joyous that the NDMA was in Lunsar to respond to his people with all the items provided. He added that the support will help his people heal and rebuild.
From Lunsar, the response team travelled to Affia B’ailahun Village, Fodai Section, Sulima Chiefdom, Falaba District, where a fire outbreak also destroyed 17 houses, affecting 17 households on February 11th 2022. These houses were completely burnt down. The team provided a 50kg bag of rice, jerry cans, soap, blankets, rubber buckets and vegetable cooking oil to each household and 5 bundles of zinc, 5 packets of roofing nails, and 5packets of 4- and 3-inches nails to the affected landlords as succour.
For More Enquiries:
Directorate of Communications
National Disaster Management Agency
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