I’ve wore these t-shirt and trouser for the past three days' says Philip Mohamed Koroma, one of the victims at Regent mudslide.
Meet 16 years Philip, a Senior High School pupil in (SS1). He is one of the victims of the landslide at Mount Sugar Loaf Regent. Philip lost his aunty with 8 months pregnancy during the landslide in the early hours of 14th August 2017. His late aunt had 2 children boy (aged16) and a girl (aged 6). His aunt and two children died during the mudslide. He is now living with his uncle. His dream is to continuing his education unhindered.
Mohamed after receiving food supply from WFP at Regent command centre
The Government of Sierra Leone has so far received over a million dollar directly for the victims of the August 14th Mudslide and flooding which claimed the lives of over four hundred souls, leaving dozens homeless and hospitalized. Reports show that women and children bore the brunt of the August 14 disaster- especially school going pupils who would never see the next academic year. Despite all these donations, more suffering awaits victims from the disaster just as the ebola survivors are perishing.
Sierra Leone is still loved by many and just after the disaster, donations both cash and in material forms started dripping into the hands of President Koroma and cohorts. While his king’s men are receiving donations in kind, President Koroma’s appetite has increased to receiving donation in cash behind his big desk at State House.
The sad part in all of these, President Koroma was the grand chief patron receiver of cash donations from well wishers during the Ebola outbreak but to everyone’s greatest dismay, Ebola victims have been living in impoverished conditions with little or no support to them despite the thousands of dollars and billions of Leones donated by foreign governments and country men to the President at State House. Ebola victims are facing more burden now than ever, they are being stigmatized, facing challenges in accessing quality health care because their needs have not been addressed after the Ebola crisis. A Lancet report shows that thousands of Ebola survivors are still in need of support.
Greater majority of the recommendations from the first report were not adhere to and same was replicated to the second report. However, only few changes the National Ebola Response Centre made in the way they did business yet blatantly failed to implement the recommendations from the report. A Public Account committee was set up to look into the matter, but little action was taken after the committee put out their findings.
History is now repeating itself as the President is the same man receiving cash donations from both local and foreign partners on behalf of the victims. What is the guarantee that victims of the landslide and flooding will benefits from the said funds especially when general elections are right at the corner. I would not be surprised for more suffering awaiting flood and mudslide victims just as Ebola victims are currently perishing.