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HomeLocal NewsAfricell & NDMA Launch Toll-Free Line for Emergency Services

Africell & NDMA Launch Toll-Free Line for Emergency Services

The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) in partnership with Africell Mobile Company-SL has launched the NDMA Africell toll-free number (*1199#) as part of its effort in strengthening effective early warning system where citizens will have the opportunity to call and report incidences of disasters across the country for free.

Welcoming the guests, NDMA’s Deputy Director-General, John Vandy Rogers, who doubled as Chairman of the occasion said it was an opportunity to steer such an auspicious event, describing the launch of toll-free line as a huge step in disaster mitigation in the country. He thanked Africell for honouring NDMA’s request in providing a toll-free number for emergency response.

In his statement, the Director-General, NDMA, Lt. Gen. (Retired) Brima Sesay applauded Africell Sierra Leone for the laudable venture towards strengthening the early warning system in the country.

He said NDMA was established by an Act of Parliament in 2020 to deal with disasters and similar emergencies throughout Sierra Leone, and to develop the capacity of residents in communities to respond effectively to disasters and emergencies, pointing out that the Agency was launched by President Julius Maada Bio at State House on the 19th November 2020 and since its inception, it has taken significant steps to enhance effective coordination through partnerships, inter-agency dialogue,

report incidences of emergencies for free from any Africell number; 145 mobile phones with free CUG sim cards to ensure effective communication flow amongst staff members across the country, and that the company has allocated 1 hour radio programme called ‘NDMA Hour’ on its radio station-AfriRadio 105.3 FM). He said the platform will be used to propagate the activities of the Agency, undertake public education on early warning signs, risk reduction and preparedness.

In his statement, Africell’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Joe Abass Bangura maintained that

emergencies, and will be of immense support in reducing the risk of hazards across the country.

related-issues.

collaboration, engagements with MDAs and devising workable strategies to streamline the activities of NGOs dealing with disaster-related issues in the country.

The DG further revealed that two months ago, the NDMA wrote to the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) for approval, to enable mobile companies operating in the country to help the Agency with Toll-Free lines and other facilities essential to enable the public receive Early Warning alerts

from NDMA and equally give the public an opportunity to make free calls in order to report disaster

In this respect, he said Africell mobile company responded to their request immediately, approving almost all NDMA’s requests through constructive engagements with its leadership. The DG expressed delight by underscoring that the approved package from Africell will boost NDMA to timely respond to

The package from Africell, DG added, include the provision of a Toll-Free Number *1199# to call and

partner with the NDMA, adding that the partnership with the Agency started during the fire disaster at Susan’s Bay, where they made a presentation of direct cash transfers and other interventions amounting to over 400 million Leones to the victims.

Mr. Bangura noted that during the process they noticed the commitment of the NDMA in terms of rolling out their mandate as an institution. He furthered that the move by the company to partner with the NDMA was born out of the need to liaise with the agency to enhancing effective early warning system across the country. He pointed out that there had been a lot of disasters in the country ranging from mudslide, flash floods, fire outbreak etc., but said with this partnership, it will mitigate disasters in the country.

information technology was very important in relation to early warning, the reason they deemed it fit to

On behalf of the Government, the Minister officially launched the *1199# Toll-Free Line which is now active; to call and report incidences of disasters and emergencies throughout the country using an Africell number.

Launching the Toll-Free Line, the Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray commended Africell Sierra Leone for the partnership with NDMA, and the launch of the *1199# Toll-Free Line.He said information technology was very key towards the strengthening of an early warning system in the country, and that the Government was very committed to addressing issues of disaster, stating that to achieve this, the Government established the National Disaster Management Agency to develop the capacity of communities to respond effectively to disasters and emergencies across the country.

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