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AU Commits to Support Mudslide Victims

The Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Adekunle King’s has disclosed to the

Director-General of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) that the African Union (AU) has committed to improve the living conditions of Mudslide Victims that are currently in Mile 6.

Ambassador King further disclosed that his Embassy tapped into a grant at the AU through the “Solidarity Assistance Disaster Relief Fund”, and advocated for support to the 2017 mudslide victims that were mostly affected by the disaster.

HE King also noted that he was pleased to inform the DG that the AU has approved a total of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) grant to alleviate the suffering of mudslide victims at mile 6.

It could be recalled that on the 14th of August 2017, the Mortemeh Community was hit by severe mudslide and flood disasters that left hundreds dead and thousands homeless. Through ONS then, NMDA responded to the victims with support from the Government and Humanitarian organizations.

At the end of the response, it was very clear that the most vulnerably affected victims (women, children, persons with disabilities and the aged), had nowhere to go hence, the establishment of the 2017 Mudslide Resettlement Community at mile 6.

It’s also worth noting that three Sierra Leone indigenous engineering companies, namely: Gento Group of Companies, SECON Ltd and PAVI Fort Construction Company in 2017 constructed on gratis, fifty-two (52) affordable housing units to accommodate the most affected victims at mile 6.

During his visit also, Ambassador King and a cross-section of NDMA staff visited the new mile 6 resettlement community, and observed that many basic facilities including school, pure drinking water, community centre, market, health facility and livelihood opportunities are lacking.

After receiving official confirmation from the African Union on approval of the funds, NDMA on Sept. 7 2021 dispatched its Directors of Relief and Response, Monitoring and Evaluation and Communication to conduct needs assessment and hear from the residents at mile 6, what their immediate needs were because it is the view of NDMA that there should not be an imposition on what they want.

Director of Relief and Response, SinnehMansaray admonished the residents that the team from NDMA was there to find out first-hand what their key needs were. He said NDMA will continue to solicit funding to improve their living conditions both infrastructural and personal growth.

Director of Communications, Mohamed L. Bah said, it was a manifestation that NDMA through the government of Sierra Leone will always seek their interest; and that NDMA will continue to engage with partners to elevate their standards of living. He further encouraged them to take good care of their new settlement.

Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, AbubakarrBangura, also reprove that NDMA was there to allow them to choose their needs. “This is to ensure that whatever NDMA constructs will reflect their true needs”, he said.

After lengthy deliberations, the residents through their Chairman, Abu Bakarr Kamara noted that their most pressing needs, for now include market place, pure drinking water and financial assistance to help them start-up micro-businesses to sustain their livelihoods.

In light of the above, the public is hereby informed that NDMA will soon start the process (es) of awarding contracts in line with set procedures to qualified contractors for the construction of the approved amenities identified by the beneficiaries.

The NDMA is also assuring disaster victims across the country that it will continue to drum up and lobby with partners both local and international to aid them to recover from their disasters.

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