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Sierra Leone: “There is no dignity in this kind of life” – Herbert BiCool Bangura

By: Fatmata Turay

Community Solutions Program Leader, Herbert BiCool Bangura said conscious efforts must be made to “dignify life” in Sierra Leone.

This he said when he made some donations to August 14th Floods and Landslides victims in Sierra Leone.

It could be recalled that on August 14th this year, the world was awaken to a tragic report of devastating mudslides and floods that claimed the

lives of over 600 people with many more missing with no hopes of finding them and thousands more homeless and displaced.

Relief efforts were quickly requested for by the government of Sierra Leone that was not prepared to tackle the tragic incidence alone. Rescue efforts got on the way to recover missing people while many humanitarian organizations and individuals join in to volunteer and help with the recovery efforts.

Narrating his personal experience of the situation to Awake News, Hebert said:

“Fortunately and unfortunately, in the very early hours of that same morning, I drove through the same route from Freetown where the disaster occurred. On the way to Makeni in the Northern province where I was due to attend a  program organized by his Young Peace Builders group. Half way through my journey, I began receiving devastating calls from some family members & colleagues informing me about what has happened and trying to find out if I was safe”

Mr. Bangura, however has poured his frustrations on what he described as “the insensitive attitude of the government of Sierra Leone towards addressing issues of climate change and protecting the environment.

According to him, there has been many calls from diverse civil society organizations, local indigenous people and international community about the dangers of encroaching lands beyond the green belts and the massive deforestation for selfish human activities.

Mr. Bangura has accused the Government authorities for aiding those illegalities and could not adequately administer, manage or protect the environment but indulge in corruption and massive land grabbing.

In an effort to support the victims, Mr. Bangura, joined a team of volunteer and humanitarian organizations around the disaster areas of Regent and Kaningo in the lumley Juba areas mobilize relief items for victims.

“As the volunteer efforts were ongoing, I contact my host organization in the United States of America, River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding to informed them about the tragedy, and requested them to assist with some fundraising efforts to support the families of the mudslides and floods as the needs were enormous, thankfully they accepted to receive funds on behalf of the Young Peace Builders for the said purpose. Even though we could not reach our expected goal / target of $5,000-$20,000, but we are very grateful to those who supported our efforts which enabled us to raise about $1700 (One thousand seven hundred US Dollars) within a period of about two weeks”. He said

“The donation comprised of bundles of purified drinking water, sanitary items including menstrual pads for women, pampers for babies, provisions, schools book bags and biscuits / cheeseballs etc.” – He added

Presenting the items on behalf of the Young Peace Builders / River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding, an executive of the organization, Ms. Beatrice O’Cornor said they efforts are still being made to offer more support in the future and advised that the donations be utilized for its intended purpose.

Mr. Emmanuel Bangura, YPB’s Community Peacebuilding Facilitator who has been with the victims from the start, he said they stand and continue to be in solidarity with the victims and the entire country.

Receiving the items on behalf of government and the victims, Mr. Moseray (Office of National Security) expressed gratitude to Young Peace Builders / River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding. He applauded choice of items donated and described it timely. Mr. Moseray also commended Young Peace Builders for exhibiting high level of transparency in their activities.

Mr. Herbert Bangura has since extended appreciation to the many individuals who gave their donations to support this worthy course.

About Efo Korsi Senyo

Efo Korsi Senyo has over 4 years experience working as investigative journalist with Awake Africa. He is the Head of Awake Investigates. Connect with him via senyo@awakeafrica.com or WhatsApp: +233249155003

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