Victims of April 23 fire disaster in New Kru Town’s Karpeh Street Community were not impressed when they were told that the Liberia National Red Cross has completed its assessment and is ready to provide them and others relief sometime next week.
The victims’ disbelief and unenthusiastic response to the news was because of the long delay in the arrival of help expected from LNRC. “It has been twenty five days since the disaster took place here in Karpeh Street and 19 days since Red Cross was informed of the disaster,” a local resident told the Daily Observer yesterday.
“Red Cross did not provide us with information about what it was planning to do,” he said, “as a result we were thinking they have forgotten about us.”
For the last 25 days, the victims, including twenty five men, twenty women and fifty children have slept in neighbors’ kitchens and any available shelter that could accommodate them for the night.
“It’s been a hard life,” another resident said, “but what else can we do except to wait for help to come.”
A spokesman for the LNRC, Oniel Bestman, told our reporter yesterday in a telephone call that the society is ready to provide relief to nearly thirty communities that have suffered fire disasters in recent times.
Bestman said, “We share the concerns of the affected communities and we can assure them that we are ready to provide relief next week.”
Though Bestman could not be specific as to when exactly Red Cross will visit the Karpeh Street community, he said their concerns are indications that they are taking an interest in the Red Cross.
“We are making preparations to provide relief to all the affected communities,” Bestman said. Though he also did not disclose the various communities that have suffered from fire disasters, our reporter Edwin Fayiah said a large house with five bedrooms, occupied by 24 persons was burnt down on Capitol Bypass in April.
He also said another fire disaster which took place in April destroyed a seven bedroom house occupied by 30 persons in the Soul Clinic community, outside Monrovia.
Mr. Joe Carr, chairman of the Karpeh Street Community, upon hearing the news yesterday told our reporter, “I’m glad to hear this news from the Red Cross because we have not heard from them since their team’s visit here on April 27, and that has frustrated many of the victims.
“With the rains already here the community has been worried about what to do to help its members who don’t have anywhere to sleep because of the disaster.”
Carr said if Red Cross had provided information of what it was planning to do, he would have informed the victims to prevent their mistrust and frustration.