By Aaron Parker
A non-governmental organisation, ActionAid Sierra Leone, in collaboration with Freetown City Council (FCC) and Office of National Security (ONS), has given out food and non-food items to 95 households from the Bottom Oku community, Wellington, to mark the commencement of an emergency relief exercise that will benefit 400 households, which were affected by the floods of August 4th 2019.
On Tuesday 13th August, dozens of flood affected people from the Bottom Oku community in Wellington, gathered at the SLMC school to receive their share of the relief items, which included food and non-food items.
“We are targeting 400 households and the distribution will continue till the end of the week” said Mohamed Sillah, Country Director, ActionAid Sierra Leone.
Mr. Sillah added that the total fund for the programme is 82,000 pounds, which they got from direct and indirect support.
He went further to reveal that this is just the beginning, as each household will also receive the sum of Le 300,000 to solve other issues beyond the food and nonfood items, adding that they even have a training package for 300 household, which will cover men and young people on how to respond to emergencies and later a training for women will be conducted on sexual reproductive health and basic female hygiene.
Speaking of behalf of the community, Arthur Sheki Mansaray, Councilor of Ward 403 constituency 114, which covers the affected areas, said that he felt good about the quick response from ActionAid.
“The flood destroyed about 50 houses and left many homeless but we thank God because there was no loss of life” he said.
On reasons why people live in slum settlements where they are not protected from the elements, Councilor Mansaray said it is mainly because of the high cost of rent, which a majority of people cannot afford and they look for the only option to survive.
He also took the opportunity to appeal to government for Health centers and primary schools, which he said are lacking in his communities
One of the beneficiaries, Emma Sankoh said she is very happy for the timely response by Action Aid as they were wondering how they will survive.
ActionAid Sierra Leone is a leading NGO in Sierra Leone and has worked in those communities for many years, supporting women’s empowerment, organising trainings for youth employment skills, supporting agriculture, livelihood programmes and many more.