The Indian Merchant Association in Sierra Leone on Thursday presented a check for Le 250 million to the Director General of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) in Freetown to assist the victims of the November 5 explosion that affected causes many victims.
Speaking at NDMA Headquarters in Aberdeen, the Indian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Amb. Rakesh Arora offered his condolences on behalf of his country and his compatriots to the people and government of Sierra Leone for the loss of many lives in an oil tanker explosion in Wellington in eastern Freetown.
Ambassador Arora revealed that six of the many people who suffered injuries that day were receiving medical treatment at Choithram Hospital for free after informing his audience that the hospital had paid out SLL 30 million in needed medicine. the treatment of people admitted to other hospitals.
The High Commissioner asserted that in this hour of mourning, the government of Sierra Leone, through its agencies, in particular NDMA, is trying to help affected families and is organizing medical assistance highlighting how they would like to complement these efforts. ,
For his part, NDMA Director General Lt. Rtd Brima Sesay summed up the agency’s efforts on Wellington’s devastating and chaotic scene and reported the deaths of 84 people found at the scene. He said the official number of people involved in the incident rose to 299, with 138 deaths. He said 54 people who suffered serious injuries have died under treatment.
“It is indeed a great challenge for doctors especially as the country lacks a specialized unit to treat such cases,” he said, adding that of those who are hospitalized, 12 are in a very critical situation adding that the objective now is to see how much medical attention will be given to them. He also revealed that a team of Senegalese doctors specializing in the treatment of burns are in town alongside Sierra Leonean doctors to treat those admitted.
Dr Kishore Shankerdas, Managing Director of Shankerdas & Sons, while expressing condolences, suggested that it might be useful for NDMA to bring together the required stakeholders to develop a strategy on how to prevent future disasters of such magnitude than the PMB Wellington fire disaster. .
He went on to say that NDMA and its associated partners should embark on a strong awareness campaign to raise awareness of what to do and not to prevent such a disaster from happening and how to avoid being a victim, declaring that a special program on this subject should be developed for schoolchildren. He also maintained that the SLRSA must regularly ensure the technical control of the vehicles which crisscross our streets and our roads.
The highlight of the occasion was the handing over of the check for two hundred and fifty million leones by Dr Kishore Shankerdas to the Director General of NDMA to be used for social assistance measures for the affected families.
On receiving the check, the NDMA CEO on behalf of the government thanked the Indian Mercantile Association for what he called a very timely gesture. He said he would pass the gesture on to the proper authorities and even the President, praising the Indians for their usual swift disaster response, even mentioning the Susan’s Bay fire incident.
Responding to the suggestion made by Dr Kishore Shankerdas, he said NDMA had done a lot in the area of ââawareness raising, adding that the big challenge was about the attitudes of some people.
The highlight of the occasion was the taking of a group photo of NDMA staff members and members of the Indian Mercantile Association in Sierra Leone.