By Victoria Saffa
Approximately one hundred people have been left homeless in Mathainkay village, Tonkolili district, after fire engulfed and completely destroyed seven houses. The incident reportedly took place on Saturday, 22 March when farmers were busy clearing and burning their farms ahead of the new planting season.
The victims, many of whom spoke to our reporter, have called on the government and philanthropists to provide them with humanitarian assistance.
According to a victim who was in tears, Pa Momoh Kamara, as they were preoccupied with clearing and burning, the fire kept spreading to their thatched homes and were unable to put it out.
He blamed the disaster on usually strong winds this year which continue to blow even at night this month, which is usually the hottest month in the dry season in Sierra Leone.
Another victim, Hawa Kargbo, who identified herself as a widow with seven children, said the incident has left them homeless and at the moment sleeping in the open because the few houses which were spared by the blaze are fully occupied.
“I have little children and it is difficult for other people to accommodate me and my children altogether. I am therefore calling on the government and other people for humanitarian assistance,” she pleaded.
Meanwhile, it remains unclear whether the Disaster Management Unit at the Office of National Security will provide some emergency relief items for the victims.