Former Secretary General of the Liberia Business Association (LIBA), Leelai Kpukuyou, identifying with families of the Paynesville fire victims, expressed sympathies and condolences and said the incident should should be a matter of concern for all Liberians.
It can be recalled that on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 26 students and two teachers were reported dead as a result of a fire that gutted an Islamic School in Paynesville City.
Madam Kpukuyou said she has setup a “GoFund Me” account online to raise US$25,000 to help families of fire victims.
“The “GoFund Me” has raised US$1,292 so far and is expected to exceed its target,” she said.
She said the money will go toward helping those families who are going through this period of bereavement.
“It makes all the difference if all Liberians can contribute and begin to cultivate a culture of internal support system amongst us as a people and a country. And so I just went online and I basically established a GoFundMe account; right there people started reacting,” Madam Kpukuyou said.
She said though no amount of money can replace the lives of the fire victims, but saw it important to identify with the bereaved families.
According to her, US$25,000 is her target and she remains hopeful that Liberians home and abroad will see the need to contribute to reach this goal.
“The GoFund Me account is still open and people are continuing to contribute but it will require all of our efforts to do this. When that money is generated, a small team can come together and see how we will be able to contribute to the families and also to activities that will be able to educate our people on fire safety measures,” she said.
Ms. Kpukuyou called on the government to assign fire trucks to the15 counties to respond to any threats of fire disaster.
“When things like this happen, you think about the whole situation. You ask yourself; is there an active fire service in the various counties? So we need to have fire service trucks, extinguishers and provide education in all 15 political subdivisions of the country,” she said.
She called for a full-scale public inquiry into the fire incident to ascertain the root cause of the fire.
Meanwhile, the Joint Investigative Team set up by President George Manneh Weah to probe the fire incident has announced it has commenced its work. The Investigative Team comprises the Liberia National Police (LNP) and Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS).