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Civil Society reveals…

Bad roads hinder Ebola fight in Koinadugu

NOVEMBER 21, 2014 By Mohamed Massaquoi

National Coordinator of a civil society consortium charged with the responsibility of monitoring road safety in the country – Road for Development Sierra Leone – has disclosed that the greatest challenge in the fight against Ebola in Koinadugu district is the bad road network.

Phillip P. Lansana said that while the Ebola virus continues to afflict people in the district – which until October was touted as the only Ebola free district in the country – deployable road network hinders the movement of materials, experts and support staff to affected communities.

“We call on the government, through the Sierra Leone Road Authority and the Road Maintenance Fund Administration, to speedily rehabilitate these particular roads for quick access to Ebola victims and communities,” Lansana said adding that it is no hidden secret that bad roads will inevitably put new ambulances and vehicles procured for the fight against the Ebola Virus beyond repairs.

Lansana said subsistence farming and petty trading are the main livelihood and income generation activity for the people in the northern district, while formal employment opportunities few, almost nonexistent.

“The presence of few humanitarian organizations in the district hasn’t done much to improve the living standards of the people. The outbreak of the Ebola disease has again worsened the situation, he said.

He added that “Most of the farming communities are difficult to access due to bad road network; health workers find it difficult to meet sick people. Our investigations proved that there are more cases in those communities but because of the constraint in reaching the communities, health personnel are not effectively monitoring the district.”

Lansana further complained that the roads between Magburaka and Mile 91 in the Tonkolili district and Pendembu in the Kailahun district are another source of concern to them, especially when they link the Kenema and Kailahun Ebola treatment centres.

Koinadugu has so far recorded 76 Ebola cases, barely a month after the first case was confirmed, although many fear the district could become another epicentre, due to alleged cover ups, and terrible roads which limit access to vast parts of the district.

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