At the time of going to press, 400 are confirmed dead, with an additional 600 missing in the mudslide that engulfed Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown. It is also estimated that 3,000 people are homeless in what is being described as a ‘Humanitarian Emergency’ with no comparison. Once in a while every nation suffers some kind of tragedy. But the case of Sierra Leone is beginning to defy belief. Emerging from a debilitating civil war, it suffered Ebola recently, and now this mudslide.
Now that it has happened, nothing will be worse than simply folding ones hands; we must support our neighbours. In Ghana, there are a number of initiatives – people based, to support the people of Sierra Leone. Already, the Government of Ghana had send Ghc 1 million worth of relief items to aid the people of Sierra Leone at this crucial time. The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia was also at Sierra Leone during the weekend to commensurate with the People and the Ghanaian community. ECOWAS, the Regional body has also allocated some funds for relief work.
This brings to mind the role of the Uhuru Kenyatta government during the Ebola crisis in the three West African states. Cuba also rose to the occasion. These efforts are a reminder that pan Africanism is real. That as Africans, when we are called upon to support each other, we should do so without hesitation and from the depths of our hearts.
We at Public Agenda solidarize with the Government and people of Sierra Leone at this time. We welcome the messages of solidarity from across the Ghanaian public and those from afar. More than that we appreciate the various efforts of civil society, individuals’ groups and organisations like the Ghana Association of Writers led by Gyan Apenteng, and by individuals such as Mawuli Dake and Amidu Ibrahim- Tanko who have led the efforts to mobilise resources for the victims of the disaster.
Nothing demonstrates selflessness more than this. We pray that those affected by this disaster recover quickly, regain their health and return to rebuilding the Sierra Leone we all love so dearly.
The struggle continues.