January 9, 2015 By Mukeh Sannoh
As part of his contribution to the fight against the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country, a Sierra Leone community leader and Policy Analyst in the Office of Premier and Cabinet in the state of Tasmania in Australia, Mr. Ansumana Usman Koroma, has complemented the efforts of the government in the fight by providing 50 bags of 50kg rice to Ebola affected families and quarantined homes in Buedu town, Kailahun District, Eastern Sierra Leone.
Speaking during the donation ceremony at the Buedu Government Hospital on Dawa Road, Buedu Town (Constituency 004) in the Kissy Tongi Chiefdom, the Pastor-in-charge of the Lord Alladura Church, Solomon Lahai, said they had been longing for such as assistance, especially as the community has been completely left out in support provided to affected Ebola communities across the country.
He said giving is one of the good attributes of God, noting that the donation came at a time the people needed it most.
“We are appealing to individuals and non-governmental organisations to follow suit,” the man of God pleaded, adding: “We need more of such donation because Kailahun is one of the districts hardly hit by the Ebola outbreak.”
Pastor Lahai asked for special prayers to be offered for the benefactor, thus calling on donors and other philanthropists in Australia and elsewhere to support Mr. Koroma in his strive to help vulnerable people back home.
Also speaking, the Kailahun District coordinator of the project, Tamba Lahai, said “as the Ebola virus claimed more lives in Sierra Leone, the death toll in Kailahun increased rapidly until the disease was contained in late November, 2014”.
He said many homes were affected with scores of breadwinners killed by the disease, and a good number of children orphaned by the virus.
He said as the situation in the district worsened, he was contacted by Mr. Koroma to do some needs assessment in quarantined homes, including the number of affected families and less-privileged in the town to identify their desperate needs. According to Tamba, this was done in consultation with the Community Health Officer, Amadu Kanneh; Councillor Mariama Lavali; Paramount Chief Nyuma Sengu; and the Local Unit Commander of the Sierra Leone Police, among others.
“Today, the entire chiefdom is benefiting from the gesture of our brother who has shown great passion to help his people,” he said. “Because the Ebola virus has affected every sector, Ansumana Koroma thought it prudent to help the vulnerable people in this community.”
The donated rice was divided into two – 25 bags went to the vulnerable groups, while the others were distributed among quarantined homes, Ebola survivors and Ebola affected homes.
One of the beneficiaries, Fatmata Nyallay, described the donation as very timely, pointing out that the living condition of many locals is appalling.
She said women are more vulnerable and called on the government to, without bias, support all Ebola survivors/victims across the country.
Isaiah Lahai, a community leader also residing in Australia, described the donation as timely and commended the selfless and patriotic move of the benefactor, Ansumana Usman Koroma.