Over 2000 children lost books
October 14, 2015 By Samuel Ben Turay
Secretary General of the Kroo Bay community, Mohamed P. Kargbo, has told Concord Times in an exclusive interview that over a thousand children have lost their learning materials due to the recent flood disaster in the slum community.
He said the flood washed away learning materials such as books, bags, pens and uniforms belonging to the school children, noting that the government and other organisations have been helping them with food and clothing but not much has been done to help child victims with learning materials.
Fatmata Barrie, a junior secondary school pupil of the Freetown Secondary School for Girls (FSSG), who lives in Kroo Bay, told Concord Times she lost all her reading materials. “I have lost everything and don’t know where to start,” she said.
Kargbo though thanked well-wishers for the food items they are getting but asked for an improvement in their children’s education. “Our children have lost their learning materials during the flooding, so they need urgent help,” said Mr. Kargbo.
The secretary general of the slum community called on the government to always seek dialogue with community leaders, especially on the issue of their relocation, adding that the previous government used to negotiate with community leaders on issues concerning the localities.
He said the recent flood has forced them to accept a planned relocation from the dangerous coastal terrain to a safer place, although nobody had sat with them to plan how the exercise is going to be done. “This time we are ready to go anywhere the government relocates us,” affirmed Kargbo as he said the 16 September flood was the worst yet in the community’s history.
He said Kroo Bay is an informal housing settlement with a population of over 10,989 people, but they lack basic access to sanitation and health services.
The community, he conceded, is thus prone to health hazards such as malaria, diarrhea and vomiting, pneumonia, bronchitis and other respiratory infections, while worm infestations, scabies, abscesses, sores, and boils are common ailments in the area.