Sierra Leone Telegraph: 08 November 2021:
The Sierra Leone Telegraph has learnt that international aid has started arriving in the country after a fuel tanker fire took the lives of over a hundred people in Wellington, Freetown. (Photo above: President Bio visiting survivors at the Choithram hospital).
A consignment of one tonne of medical supplies promised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has arrived in Freetown. The consignment which is part of a six tonnes of supplies promised by WHO arrived on board an Asky flight.
The WHO Country Representative, Dr Steven Shongwe, handed the supplies to Minister of Health Dr Austin Demby (Photo) at the Freetown International Airport in Lungi.
At least 97 people have officially been confirmed dead after last Friday’s, November 5 tanker disaster.
Over 90 others who sustained injuries are being treated, some, according to the minister, with 90 degrees burns, which he said require special care and hence the support from international partners.
WHO, according to Dr Shongwe, is also helping Sierra Leone with expert medical personnel who are expected to arrive in the country shortly.
Political parties have published messages of condolence to the families of victims.
The All People’s Congress (APC) said:
“The leadership of the APC would like to convey its condolence to the victims of the fire accident in Wellington, Freetown which sad event took place on Friday 5th November 2021. To those who have lost their loved ones, our sympathy goes to their family members.
“A National disaster of this nature demands the co-operation of all Sierra Leoneans, both at home and abroad. Our country lacks the required medical and emergency response capacity to handle emergencies of this magnitude, more so with burnt victims. This tragedy thus requires both local and international response and we therefore call on the International Community and our friends to come to our aid.
“Meanwhile, the Party wishes to urge the APC East District Executive members who have been on the ground since last night to heighten their assistance and first aid to those who have been displaced as a result of this Disaster.
“The Party will join the government agencies and other charitable organizations charged with disaster management to offer assistance to our depressed compatriots.
“Signed: Amber Dr . Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh, National Secretary General APC.”
The Coalition For Change (C4C)Party said:
“The C4C political party wishes to extend our heartfelt compassion to the families and friends of the victims of the NP tanker explosion last night at PMB Wellington. We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the deaths and injuries caused by the explosion.
“We take this sad occasion to offer the families who lost loved ones our deepest condolences and most sincere sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the many who suffered injuries from the incident.
“We know that there’s nothing that we can say during a time of such an unexpected disaster to soothe the pain that many of the victims and families are going through, but we want you to know that as a political party with high regards for the welfare of our citizens, you are in our thoughts and not alone. We will do all that we can to embrace and support you and be there for you during this challenging time.
“All life is sacred and it is upsetting to see the devastating impact that this tragedy has had on all Sierra Leoneans. Our very best wishes to everyone affected by this tragedy.
“To all Sierra Leoneans, this one really hit us hard. We ask that we stay united and work in harmony for the sake of the victims.
The Chairman of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) Party – Dr Dennis Bright said:
This is President Bio speaking in Wellington yesterday:
All Sierra Leoneans abroad and in Spain especially felt very deeply to the loss of their beloved ones. I the pain and sorrow and greet all their bereaved ones and hope such calamity will never happen again. May God bless Sierra Leone and her people..
Personally, I am surprised because there is no press release from the Sierra Leone Peoples Party( SLPP) and Coalition Of Political Parties (COPP).
I think this is one of the best speeches that President Bio have made since taking office. I only wish he could make more of this speeches in a different setting and a different platform for peace building purposes only. Maybe a PRESIDENTIAL STATE OF OUR COUNTRY’S AFFAIRS ADDRESS zoomed directly from State house every three months, will serve our country better for the future developments and unity of our country. And the Presidential statements has to be dilivered in the Krio language which is 97% understood by our country’s population and ordinary people can feel connected to. This particular speech that Bio made was dilivered with out the imput of any of his spin doctors. And that’s the sort of speech we want to hear from our politicians. Unfortunately for us it takes a disaster of biblical portion to be inflicted to our nation to hear Bio finally come out of his tribalistic egg shells and preach a message of unity and peace amongst all of us.
I wish we can all learn from this and moved on with one purpose to unite as one people so it becomes the legacy of the peoples that perished in this horrible accident. May their souls rest in peace. Our country have gone through a lot, this should be a moment we take stock and renew our efforts in helping us bring people together. Bio as he rightly pointed out, rules are made for the good of all not just the few. Now the response to the tragedy have once again shown there is much more that we have in common as humans than divide us as tribes. Ultimately, the president rightly pointed out, rules and regulations are made for all of us to obey regardless of where you fell in the pecking order in our societies. Walking on a foot path designed for pedestrian walking only, and obeying traffice lights, and the highway codes on how we use our mode of transport from A to Z is crucial in maintaining public transport safety, and crucially show we as citizens care for one an other.
When disasters strike, Sierra-leone have always enjoyed the goodwill of the international community. From the United Nations, WHO ECOWAS , African Union, and NGOs, they have always been their for us. And as a nation we shouldn’t take it for granted that we have this level of support coming from all corners of the world. You just have to look at Afghanistan and see what its means when the international community withdraw their assistants.