…Mudslide Victims unhappy with Government
December 19, 2017 By Ransford Felix
Hundreds of victims of the August 14 mudslide and flood disaster yesterday left the Don Bosco children’s home, where they’ve been sheltering since the twin humanitarian disasters struck.
Some of the victims told Concord Times they were disappointed over the ‘failure’ of government to honour their promise of providing them with $120 exit package.
John Rogers,director at the Office of National Security (ONS), had earlier promised that government would provide exit package, including food and non-food items, to the victims.
Rogers further promised comprehensive cash transfers and transportation support to aid victims’ relocation to new accommodation.
But some of the victims had earlier complained about challenges they faced in accessing cash transfer and safe accommodation after they left temporary camps established by government and donor partners.
Also, at Don Bosco yesterday, victims cried that: “We are disappointed by Government as we are yet to receive the money promised us even as we are leaving now.”
One of the victims, Mohamed Sannoh, expressed that: “ONS came and registered us, promising that they will send the $120 via Airtel money before we leave here. But now we are leaving the camp without our exit package.”
He added that some of them have nowhere to go as they had hoped to use the money to rent apartments.
Also, Aminata Kamara, a suckling mother, shared a similar frustration. She thanked Don Bosco for being very helpful to them since they arrived at the home after the disaster.
Director of Don Bosco Fambul, Father George Crisafulli remarked that they have played their own part by providing psychosocial support, spending over Le1 billion in four months.
“During this period, we provided clothing and healthcare support for the mudslide victims. Emergency is not forever and it is high time the government played its own part,” he said.
He added that the victims were leaving with the hope of receiving $120 exit package from government in order to find apartment(s) to let.
“They have money to spend on political rallies and campaigns but nothing to spend on people in distress situations. The victims need the money to start life afresh. It is the responsibility of government to provide the necessary support for the people, especially the poor,” he added.
The departing mudslide victims received items including bags of rice, gallons of oil, tin tomatoes and clothing as they left the home.