Day 16- Sierra Leone is still in urgent need of further relief and AID as hundreds of people who witness say were not affected, have also begun coming out of the ‘woodworks,’ to receive AID after the devastating August 14, 2017 mudslide that took more than 600 lives.
Victims, survivors and orphans by the thousands, are said to not be getting enough food and water, something organizations and community organizers are literally ‘begging’ for in video messages.
The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Abu Bakarr Fofanah is still optimistic that Sierra Leone parliament will find relief for the hundreds affected. They have continued to implore all organizations, civil groups, private companies and neighboring Liberia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, United Nations, UNICEF and others, to help. The government of Sierra Leone has also appealed to ‘everyone’ to come in and continue to help.
Day 7 of the tragic incident saw those displaced, relocated at Kaningo, Pentagon and Mayama extension communities in Lumley and also the emergency centers created for victims around the area.
A set of female journalists including our reporter and a Sierra Leonean filmmaker/actress/ and CEO of Women Against Inhumanities, visited different affected areas and were able to gather names of real victims and counsel those who were in need of a shoulder to lean on.
Many of those placed in various camps complained of hunger. The food being served to them, they said, “is not enough.” USAID, Sierra Leone Muslim Missionaries Foundation, One Nation, other international organizations, Sierra Leoneans and all those helping, combined, have enable community members to feed each victim at least two times a day.
They are served breakfast/lunch together and dinner, though in small quantities. Packets of powder milk have been provided for children, but there is still a urgent need for baby food, something that has caused a lot of young babies to lose weight.
The coordinator for the Pentagon community, Maxwell Rahman Korma, working in collaboration ONS, Street Child, IRN, Social welfare and other international organizations, has been at the camp distributing mattresses, toiletries, clothes, shoes, water, medication and hospital treatment for those in serious conditions.
These items were brought in by Leprosy Control unit and according to Maxwell; there are some ‘serious’ challenges that need to be dealt with ‘quick’. “We really need water, food, even shelter; where they are coming in for shelter at this building. We need water so they can shower, drink and use it,” he added.
Meanwhile, one of the major challenges in re-locating the displaced and giving them enough food is the fact that people, who were not affected, have strayed into the registration lines.
Victims are ‘complaining,’ that relief is not reaching the right hands as those unaffected are getting their due AID.
“The ones they should register, they are not registering us, and they picked their selected group that they want to register. As for me, I am happy I have my life, which is more important then the things they want to give me,” added Foday Sesay, a survivor.
According to Marie, who lost all the renters living with her in the house that has now vanished, this tragic event will never leave the mid of the masses.
“The incident that took place is bad past war, Ebola and anything you can imagine that could happen to this country,” she said. “In just one day, thousands of souls lost, its really pathetic. There were more then 500 houses down there and the people who died were more than that, because some houses had a household of 10, 15 people inside,” she sadly added.