SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
As part of its corporate social responsibility, Africell Mobile Company on Friday (August 29) handed over 22,500 kilos (450 bags) of rice to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation for onward distribution to Ebola victims as well as those quarantined in Kenema, Kailahun, Port Loko, Bombali and Tonkolili districts.
The presentation came as a result of a promise made by the company less than two weeks ago to set aside Le1.00 (one Leone) for every minute spoken on their network to support those affected by the virus.
Speaking at the company’s headquarters on 1 Pivot Lane, Wilberforce in Freetown, Africell’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Joe Abass Bangura, described the donation as an expansion of their ongoing support being provided to the government and people of Sierra Leone since the Ebola crisis hit the country.
He explained that in partnership with AIR radio, they are currently providing “very vital information to Sierra Leoneans” all over the country, which he said is useful for the prevention and containment of the disease.
“The radio’s flagship weekday program, ‘Join Hand for Dreb Ebola’, that is brought to you in partnership with the Centre for Disease Control, BBC Media Action and the Emergency Operations Centre, is rated very highly for its informative and empowering approach to sensitize Sierra Leoneans about the virus,” he said and assured of their determination “to be there with the government and the people at all times”.
Mr. Bangura also assured that they will continue to play host to the 117 free toll line to help the public access information on how to deal with the Ebola viral disease and ensure all GSM operators continue to be connected to the service.
He expressed hope that by providing communication, awareness and information, funding and feeding, Africell is going all the way to contribute and close the resource gaps in ensuring that Ebola is defeated in the country.
Also speaking, a representative from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Sholade Pyne-Baily, expressed the ministry’s delight and noted: “We really appreciate this support from Africell. This will take us further in the fight.”
She maintained that the rice provided by the company will help to sustain those affected by the disease as well as those quarantined.
Minister of Information and Communications, Alhaji Alpha Kanu, commended Africell for being at the forefront since the outbreak in May this year, and urged them to accompany the rice with water.