ONS warns ‘fake’ flood victims as they inspect settlements 


September 5, 2017 By Memunatu Bangura

The National Security Coordinator in the Office of the National Security (ONS), Ismail Sheriff Tarashid Tarawali, has warned people posing to be flood affected victims to desist from such practice as possible legal actions awaits them.

He gave the above warning during a conducted tour organised by ONS to settlements including Old Skul/Regent, Kamayama, Culvert, Dwarzark, Kaningo and Juba respectively, to monitor the recovery effort that were undertaken by government and its development partners.

Tarawali referred to such action of imposters as ‘rogue and mere provocation’ to the people that were actually affected, noting that it is also a lawless and inhuman attitude.

According to him, government was committed to making sure that victims were comfortable and well taken care of in their various camps.

 He told them that the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Sierra Leone Police would intervene in the registration and verification process to prove the legality of the victims that were already registered and to be relocated.

Victims in the different camps made several complaints to the National Security Coordinator and among which was the delay to verify victims that were already registered.

In his response, Ismail Sheriff Tarashid Tarawali said there was a delay in the process because government and its partners were trying to making sure the people that were directly affected were verified and relocated to the designated locations.

He emphasised that the registration process was already closed while verification process was underway, noting that there were still space at the Male and Female Correctional Centres to accommodate fake victims that would be detected during the verification process.

At Old Skul/Regent camp, the team discovered that the Saio Elementary School that was empty and victims relocated to Old Skul, was occupied by people who claimed to be victims of the August 14 flooding and landslide.

Tarashid Tarawali admonished them to leave the school, adding that the directly affected people should leave the building as registration was closed and advised them to return to whichever village or areas they might have come from to pose as affected persons.

However, Councilor at Regent village, Margret Kargbo, stated that it was true that there were people from the province that were not directly affected, but were at the centres to register because their relatives were affected.

The United Nations Women representative, Mary Okumu, told the victims at Old Skul that women and children were mostly affected by the August 14 flood and landslide and that her organisation was working assiduously to making life better for the victim.

She said UN Women was helping to provide psychological and logistical supports to make life comfortable for the victims.

According to her, the victims needed shelter, food and other facilities, noting that women and girls needed special attention and to make life dignify.

Engineer on ground at the Juba camp, stated that there were fifty tents that were already constructed by International Office for Migration (IOM) to host fifty affected family heads that were residing around Juba and Lumley.

David Bangura explained that the victims would be living at the camp for three months as proposed by government, adding that there were WASH and other facilities at the camp to avoid outbreak of disease during their stay.