Government of Sierra Leone
Monday 19th September 2016
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA) wishes to bring to the attention of the general public that Government’s assessment of the outcome of a torrential downpour of rain in early morning hours of Monday 19th September 2016, is that severe flooding in significant parts of the Western Area has devastated settlements, caused four (4) confirmed deaths, left some people severely injured and destroyed properties including homes, vehicles and roads.
Government wishes it to be known that natural disasters such as floods can be very sudden and with destructive force. This, therefore, suggests re-doubling of our commitment to scale up on our collective efforts as a Nation to address the plight of vulnerable citizens affected by floods.
Today, the Office of National Security immediately undertook its mandate as lead institution for management of such floods and disasters whilst various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are providing services under assigned pillars. The MSWGCA is mandated to lead Pillar 1 which provides Psycho-Social Support (PSS) for affected citizens especially women and children.
At an Emergency meeting of the Senior Management Team of MSWGCA this afternoon chaired by Hon. Minister Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, the following measures were approved:
- The Hon. Deputy Minister of MSWGCA, Madam Rugiatu Neneh Turay will continue to provide leadership of the MSWGCA’s role in all disasters nationwide; to be done in consonance with Director of Social Welfare Mr. Francis Kabia.
- Immediate setting up of a 24 hour rotational Standby PSS Unit stationed at MSWGCA New Englandville offices to monitor current and subsequent situations in respective disaster prone settlements with a 24 Hour Contact Phoneline of: +232-44-812345
- Formation of Volunteer Corps in afore-same and other settlements to effect efficient flow of information for the prompt intervention of the Ministry.
- Liaise with partner organizations that are members of Pillar 1 for an enhancement of the MSWGCA’s provision of Psychological First Aid (PFA) support.
- Collaborate with relevant MDAs to enhance comprehensive service delivery.
MSWGCA assures of the Ministry and by extension, Government’s support in this moment of difficulty for some compatriots. Meanwhile, as Government continues to sympathize with those affected and actively collaborates to assist them, it is hereby strongly reiterated for citizens to avoid their continued residence in areas that have been cited as flood and disaster prone areas.
Francis Mohamed Kabia
Director of Social Welfare – MSWGCA
New Englandville, Freetown.
September 19th, 2016.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.