August 28, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
In their response to the August 14th, 2017, mudslide and flooding disasters in Freetown that claimed hundreds of lives, the government of Japan, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on August 24th, 2017, donated to the government of Sierra Leone, some relief items worth millions of Leones.
Speaking at the donation ceremony, the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana overseeing Sierra Leone, His Excellency Kaoru Yoshimura, expressed his sincere condolences to the bereaved families and sympathies to all those affected by the mudslide and flooding disaster in Freetown.
He said in responding to the call of the Sierra Leone Government, the Government of Japan decided to provide emergency relief items through JICA.
He said the items including100pcs of tent, 6,395pcs of blankets, 1,320pcs of sleeping pads, 163 sheets of plastic sheets, 30 units of water purifiers and 1,500pcs of portable jerry cans are to provide support to affected persons in the country.
“As you all know, Japan has itself experienced many natural disasters in the past. As a result of this, the people of Japan have a deeper understanding of the hurt of experiencing great magnitude of natural disaster such as the mudslide in Freetown,” he said.
He further stated that loss of human lives and livelihood as a result of natural disaster can be psychologically draining and could draw back socio- economic efforts in affected areas, therefore the government and people of Japan are hopeful that the emergency relief items will help the effort to the victims.
He said Japan continues to remain a great partner to countries in the sub region and recalled that in 2014 during the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, and neighboring countries, Japan contributed in kind and cash to help curb the spread and effect of the Ebola virus.
In his response to the donation, Vice President Dr. Victor Bockarrie Foh, on behalf of the government of Sierra Leone and the disaster victims, expressed satisfaction to the Japan entourage for their donation.
He said the donation was timely and that they are going to make sure the donated items benefit the victims, stating that Japan has been a good friend of Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, Japan had over the years contributed immensely to the rural development of Sierra Leone, by building schools, providing safe drinking water and empowering farmer especially in the north province of Sierra Leone.