Liberia: Families made Homeless by the Fall of a Giant Tree in Slipway Community; Call for Goodwill Gestures
Monrovia – At 10 O’clock Wednesday night, Oretha and Kids were witnessing television but accidentally a giant tree fell in their room breaking the entire house apart – a house that hosts at least 16 persons.
Oretha is a mother of two children (5, 2 years) but has over five children (14,12, 9, 7 5 years) living with her; one is lying in the hospital under critical condition.
Her daughter got wounded when the tree fell upon their roof. Community members assisted to take the girl to hospital.
She narrates that the rain was falling heavily and she had just returned from selling as a petit trader.
“We were inside, I just came from selling but the children were watching TV, I just heard them screamed, Mama!! “Before I could say anything the tree was lying in the chest of my other daughter, the one that is critical.”
“Right now, I am totally confused and don’t even know what to do because since 10 PM last night I have not gotten sleep because we took the girl to JFK.
“As I sit here, I don’t even know where we will sleep tonight and other nights to come, because frankly, the money I had was what I paid last night for my daughter’s registration at the hospital,” she explained.
With tears dripping her face, Oretha said starting her life is a major concern now because she has no money to rent and is asking for assistance from any philanthropic or humanitarian individual or organization.
Oretha said “Right now, to find food is so difficult and now sleeping place has now been added, I am totally confused and asking for help.”
Like Oretha, Mustapha’s room is beyond resemblance, everything in it got crushed and he couldn’t move his bed because the tree lies on it.
Mustapha’s girlfriend is wounded, and he has no money to take her to the hospital.
“We were lying down when the rain started falling but we heard a big sound before we could talk, it was on our roof and it parted me and my girlfriend.”
“Currently, I am feeling pain in my neck and we took paracetamol, but the pain has not ceased, I am afraid because it could be severe,” said Mustapha.
Of the eight rooms, Alpha Bar’s room has not damaged and he says it is by God’s grace.
“I was in the shop and heard that the tree fell on our house, when I came I saw the damaged it has done, I just said Thank you, Lord.”
He is pleading for support like Mustapha and Oretha to assist those that got affected.
“We are asking for help, these people have nowhere to live, all that they owned got damaged.
In June of 2019, the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) commenced a two-day national stakeholder, on developing a disaster risk assessment and national risk reduction strategy for Liberia.
Abraham Tumbey, Project Manager of the National Adaptation Plans said there is an absence of DRR strategy and operational guidance in the country in the current response to disasters which occur because of natural hazards.
According to him, there is also a conspicuous risk assessment and management gap highlighting hazards, vulnerabilities and copping capacities and disclosed that the proposed study is intended to fill the knowledge gaps with regards to DRR strategies and operational guidance in the response to disasters.
“In order to respond to the exposure, vulnerability, and risk of the population posed by natural hazards and climate change impacts, there is a need to fill the knowledge gaps with regards to DRR strategies and operational guidance in the response to current disasters,” Tumbey emphasized.
Augustine F. Tamba, Deputy Executive Director for Operation at the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) said in furtherance of its mandate as provided for by law, the agency remains in strict adherence to sub-national and national standard operation procedures aligned to international conventions on DRR most especially the four pillars on which the SFA of 2015 -2030 is deduced.
The NDMA body mandated to lay down the policies, plans and guidelines for Disaster Management to ensure timely and effective preparedness, response, recovery, prevention and mitigation to disasters.