August 22, 2017 By Mohamed Massaquoi
One of the leading Flag bearer aspirants for the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has urged government to provide standard disaster management training for members of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF S) as a strategy to manage disaster incidences in the country.
He added that it would also be significant for the military to swiftly intervene in disaster situations with the required capacity and resources.
Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio made the statement while commending soldiers at the Western Area Hub at Regent where he donated food and non-food items to victims of the Monday mudslide.
Bio said even though he is praying for disaster not to re-occur in Sierra Leone , yet there was need for government to put mechanisms in place so that there will be a standby unit within the national army to provide such services within the appropriate time.
“I want you to pass on this information to the relevant authorities that Sierra Leone now needs a well-trained army in disaster management. I want to commend members of the RSLAF and all other security personnel who have devoted themselves to carry out this national duty. Monday’s incident is a national disaster and every effort is needed to care for victims,” he said.
“I was not in country when the incident occurred but I have got a lot of good news based on the commitment of our security personnel, health workers, government and nongovernmental organisations. I pray that such calamity never happen again in Sierra Leone.”
The representative of the Office of National Security at the hub, Mustapha Gbondo thanked Bio and his wife, Madam Fatima Bio, for their meaningful contributions in supporting those affected by the disaster.
He said immediately the incident occurred, madam Bio swiftly intervened by providing support to volunteers and also visited the scene.
“This clearly shows that you have the people at heart,” he said, adding that the appropriate authorities will be informed about your suggestion about the training of members of the RSLAF in disaster management,” he concluded.
Bio and his entourage also moved over to the flood affected community at Kamayama, where food and nonfood items worth millions of Leones were donated to the flood victims.
“I am here to say sorry and extend my sympathy to all those families that lost their family members. I am not here to play politics but to stand by you at this difficult moment. We have lost a lot of our compatriots. This food and other items may not be enough but this clearly shows our commitment that we are with you in these challenges,” he said