Red Cross Helps Fire Victims

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The Liberian Red Cross (LRC) says it has given relief items to over 200 people from 83 families to restart their lives after fire destroyed their belongings in late January this year.

In a press release, the Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) said it is helping victims of disasters to put away their pain by providing relief and recovery materials and psychosocial support to rebuild their lives and gain hope.

“The donation is LRC’s help to vulnerable people such as those affected by the fire disaster in Taylalor town, Tewor District, Grand Cape County,” the release said.

The LNRCS, with support from the International Committee of the Red Cross, provided mats, bedspreads, tarpaulin, cooking utensils, clothes and soap, among other items, to the fire victims.

Some beneficiaries including Miatta Farhnbulleh, a mother of four children, and Boakai Kaiwu, an elder of Taylalor say life was getting extremely hard for them prior to the LRC’s intervention.

“I am dancing because the Red Cross has done a big thing for me and my children. See my son, this lapper and blouse on me are the only clothes that I have. All my clothes left in the fire. Getting new clothes for myself and for these four children, I do not know what to say to the Red Cross, but I am thankful for the help it is giving us,” Madam Farhnbulleh said.

Oldman Kaiwu said he will forever remember the good gestures from the Red Cross.

Taylalor Town is situated on the sea coast and is vulnerable to sea erosion in the Tewor District. Residents of this large, densely populated town depend on fishing and at times, cassava farming for their livelihood.

The cause of the fire disaster causing the community members a great setback is not known, but women of the town informed the Red Cross that all the men were out. Residents said the fire blazed rapidly due to the breeze from the sea, which burnt nearly all the buildings before it was quenched by the people themselves.

The town is not accessible by vehicle, but residents made a car road with their hands to enable them to receive Red Cross humanitarian assistance.
Since the incident, the affected community dwellers have been sleeping with friends and relatives, but their situation will soon change. The LRC has relocated the town and is providing zinc, nails and other building materials for the residents to rebuild the town.

“The relocation of Taylalor Town is part of the Liberian Red Cross’ plan to build stronger communities and reduce future disaster risks,” says Ambulia Perry, head of Disaster Management at the LRC.

The LRC since this year has provided support to over 1,500 people affected by storm and fire disasters.

Meanwhile the LRC has conducted assessments of 16 towns recently affected by storm disasters in Kokayah, Jorquelleh and Zota Districts in Bong County. The storm disaster led to the deaths of three persons, destroyed 338 houses and made homeless nearly 3000 families. With help from its international partner, the ICRC, the Red Cross will respond to the needs of the people in Bong County as well.

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