Government of Ghana is preparing to send relief supplies to Sierra Leone, a nation mourning the tragic loss of nearly 400 lives in a flooding disaster.
“We are also trying in our own small way to put together a package,” deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Charles Owiredu, said after contacting the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) officials and the Finance Ministry.
The deputy minister said Ghana was responding to a call for help made by President Ernest Bai Koroma, the Sierra Leonean President.
Addressing the media following last Monday’s disaster, President Ernest Bai Koroma said the devastation “was overwhelming us.” “Entire communities have been wiped out,” Koroma said. “We need urgent support now.”
The deputy foreign minister said clothes, mosquito nets and blankets are some of the items that would be heading to Sierra Leone, 738 miles away by air travel.
“We are sisters,” he told journalists in Accra yesterday, and recalled Ghana’s support for the country during the outbreak of the Ebola virus between 2014 and 2015.
Mayor of Freetwon, Sierra Leonean capital, Sam Gibson, said 270 corpses had been recovered and were “being prepared for burial,” while the chief coroner told Reuters that nearly 400 bodies had been found.
Estimates of the number missing vary: the Red Cross reported that 600 people have not been traced, while the country’s Interior Minister said thousands were unaccounted for.
At least a hundred houses were hit when a hillside in Regent, a mountainous town 15 miles east of Freetown, collapsed in the early hours of last Monday.
“Everything is gone. We’ve lost everything – our house, everything. The mud came down with the water so fast and my son did not escape. We found him lying in the mud. He was just a boy.”
“They took his body with the others and I don’t know where. God help Sierra Leone. Why are we cursed? What are we supposed to do now, with nothing,?” Issatu Koroma, who lives in Regent, where over a hundred buildings collapsed, said.