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23rd July 2018

SLPP Govt Plans Huge Financial Package for the Mudslide Victims Immediately!

By Lamin Sheriff (20/06/18)

President Julius Maada Bio's SLPP government has decided not to forget the forgotten people i.e. the victims of the disastrous mudslide last year.

 

The August 14th 2017 mudslide at the Matormeh Community, Regent Village, left over 1000 Sierra Leoneans dead and many displaced. The tragic incident of the mudslide and flooding befell them after a long downpour of rain. (Photo: Victims of the calamitous landslide in Sierra Leone last year).

After several months in trying to repatriate residents from the said community, the government of Sierra Leone under the proactive and dynamic leadership of President Bio is determined to respond and support with immediate effect to evacuate these residents before the rains hit severely.

A survey has indicated that 86 houses have gone into the red zone area where risk is very high, the Minister of Lands, Housing and the Environment and some development partners have raised serious concerns about the present state of the Matormeh community particularly the red zone areas.

Speaking on behalf of government in a press conference at the Ministry of Information and Communication, the Chief Minister, Professor David Francis explained that government being responsible and passionate about the well being of its people has decided to move all occupants that have built houses within the RED BELT AREAS in the Matormeh community.

He intimated that United Nations Development programme has carried out a survey within the Matormeh area and has advised the government to take robust steps in ensuring occupants around the RED ZONE area are evacuated immediately before another catastrophe.

Professor Francis also said that the government under the astute leadership of President Bio has committed to give financial assistance to residents within the red zone that will enable them to be evacuated in a dignified manner. Government is not building any house for anybody says the Chief Minister as he cited example on the Mile 6 experience that is fresh in the minds of Sierra Leoneans. However, he assured the residents in the Matormeh community that government will give a human face, to the evacuation exercise.

The Chief Minister also said that the government has established the Mudslide Prevention Inter Agency Committee as a proactive measure primarily to take actions to prevent future mudslides not only in Matormeh but also across the country. (Photo: Finance Minister Sahr Jusu is making a popular move in this direction).
 


Reports say the committee comprises representatives from the Office of National Security (ONS), United National Development Programme (UNDP) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), World Bank and the Department for International Development (DFID).

Chief Minister told the press that the August 14th disaster area will be transformed into a Tourism Area where people around the world will come to remember those who lost their lives during that August incident; trees will also be planted along the area in memory of those who perished.

Statements were also made on behalf of the residents of the affected Matormeh area. One of the residents, Marie Kamara told the gathering that they are happy with the strive of President Bio and his administration in making sure that residents of the area are satisfied even when they will be repatriated. She noted keenly that when the Committee went to inspect the site, the people themselves agreed to leave the area because their lives worth more than what they have invested at the said location.

Joseph B Saidu, another resident of the Matormeh community told the gathering that they are willing to leave the area for the sake their own security. Joseph said when we were told to leave the community, we were dissatisfied initially because some of us have invested so many thousands of leones in building up structures, but we will go in a good spirit as it is for our own safety and the safety of our children. No amount of property is equal to a single life.

TRIBUTE: ALPHA SHAW


1958 -1980

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