Dr. Yumkella warns against felling trees


…to prevent future disaster

October 14, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie 

One of the leading contenders for the flag-bearer of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has warned citizens, especially flood victims, to stop felling trees and to instead engage in planting more trees in a bid to prevent future disasters.

Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, who was speaking to victims of the 16 September flood in affected communities at Kroo Bay, Dwarzark, Grey Bush and Dorcoti over the weekend, consoled them on their loss and donated 350 bags of 25kg rice to victims. He admonished them though to be very careful in their mode and place of building houses because flooding occurs every year during the rainy season.

“For the sake of your children, let us adhere to what the government is advising you to do on how to control the water, build structures as well as how to be vigilant to prevent flooding,” he told his audience.

The 16 September flood devastated some parts of Freetown as residents endured the worst flooding in the history of the capital. At least seven deaths were reported and properties worth millions of Leones destroyed, while thousands of people had to flee their homes to seek shelter at football stadia.

The erstwhile United Nations under-secretary general told the victims their suffering would linger for a long time because he has lots of experience on the impact of natural disasters on thousands of people across the world.

“When the crisis struck I saw the pictures of how people, especially those in slum communities, were suffering. All of us feel the pinch of it. So when I came, I decided to visit the communities that are affected by the flooding to console, as well as give my own little support and advice,” he said.

Even though it is the primary responsibility of the government to take care of victims of the flood and to mitigate the impact of such disaster in future, the SLPP flag-bearer hopeful implored those in slum communities to be careful and take necessary steps to preserve the environment and stop doing things that would degrade it.

Dr. Yumkella emphasised that his donation was not for campaigning but rather to show concern to the affected flood victims.

Chief of Kroo Bay, Pa Alimamy Kabenpa Kargbo, and Chairlady Salamatu Gumbu Kamara, thanked the former UNIDO boss for the donation and acknowledged that it was the largest donation they had received since the disaster struck.