Unicef Office, Freetown, Wednesday 27th July, 2022 — Unicef Sierra Leone has donated consignment of cleaning tools to the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) in support of its upcoming flood mitigation exercise in Freetown.
Before May of 2022, when NDMA was accorded the responsibility of flood mitigation in the country by the Chief Minister, Hon. Jacob Jusu Saffa, institutions such as the Freetown City Council (FCC) and the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) were fully in charge of the exercise.
In order to coordinate the successful implementation of the National Flood Mitigation Plan which NDMA was rightfully mandated for, several engagements were held with all stakeholders including SLRA, FCC and donor partners. SLRA and FCC were allowed to continue with their ongoing flood mitigation plans for Freetown whilst NDMA is set to undertake a sustainable National Flood Mitigation Plan.
In his keynote address, the Unicef Country Representative, Dr. Suleiman Braimoh, stated that the handing over of the necessary cleaning tools to NDMA is for the establishment of a Tools Bank.
“It is my pleasure to officially hand over from UNICEF, to the National Disaster Management Agency a set of tools to be made available and used for flood mitigation, which will contribute to the establishment of a Tools Bank and support NDMA’s planned implementation of flood mitigation activities in Freetown and its surroundings”, he stated.
He continued: “As flooding is a recurrent issue for communities in the country during the rainy season, it is of major importance that key actions are taken in preventing and mitigating the risk of floods; minimize material loss and, avoid human casualties”.
Mr. Braimoh further elaborated that the tools which include 630 pairs of rubber boots, 359 shovels, 249 rakes, 184 pickaxes, 72 wheelbarrows, and 89 rubber gloves were procured and supplied by UNICEF Sierra Leone and they are expected to be used by at-risk communities in Freetown and its environs during cleaning exercises of the city and the waterways in 50 priority areas as identified and mapped by NDMA. He also mentioned that UNICEF Sierra Leone will support NDMA with Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) and Social Behavior Change (SBC).
“UNICEF has supported the development of the NDMA Communication Plan for Flood Mitigation and is committed to supporting the implementation of the Plan through radio and TV discussions, print media and community engagement through NDMA’S community volunteers”, the Country Representative added.
Receiving the donation on behalf of NDMA, the Director General, Lt. Gen (Rtd) Brima Sesay expressed his utmost gratitude to UNICEF, promising to utilize the tools for the intended purpose.
“The positive response of UNICEF within the shortest possible time continues to justify that they are a reliable and trustworthy partner to the Government of Sierra Leone through its various MDAs. This is why I want to assure UNICEF that whatever is being provided to NDMA will be used for the rightful purpose”, the DDG ended.
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