His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has paid two separate visits to flood victims in Wellington and Tombo, in the Western Urban and Rural Areas respectively, empathised and provided them with humanitarian support.
The two separate visits to the flood victims were facilitated by the Office of National Security, the government’s primary coordinator for the management of national emergencies such as disasters both natural and man-made.
At Wellington, a densely populated residential neighbourhood in the east end of Freetown, the President told the affected communities that he had come to them with a heavy heart, knowing that the flooding had caused huge devastation to their lives and property. He said he was saddened by the level of destruction across the country, adding that the flooding had gotten worse in recent years because people chose to build in dangerous areas and without any proper environmental planning.
President Bio warned that state authorities would continue to ensure that people who had erected structures or continue to live in areas prone to natural disasters were relocated.
Whilst he commended state institutions, development partners and NGOs for their support to flood victims, the President also encouraged young people in flood-prone areas to continue their vigilance and support in helping victims. He prayed for those who had lost their lives and assured the victims that Government and its partners would continue to provide support to them. President Bio also admonished the audience that they should listen to the instructions of authorities whenever they were advised on safety matters.
Later, President Bio also visited Tombo, a coastal fishing town located on the southern coast of the Western Area Rural District of the country, where he addressed affected persons and their families. In a similar message, he told them that he was in Tombo to sympathise with those affected by the heavy rains in the last few days.
“I am President for all Sierra Leoneans and whenever any citizen is affected by natural disaster we must all unite in that sadness,” President Bio said.
In both Wellington and Tombo, the President made separate donations of 300 bags of rice, 1000 blankets, 200 mosquito nets, bales of clothes and dozens of buckets. He was received in both places by community stakeholders, councillors and sitting All Peoples Congress Members of Parliament.
President Bio was accompanied by senior advisers and ministers including the Chief Minister, Professor David J. Francis and Minister of Lands, Housing and Environment, Dr Denis Sandy.