Tuesday 6th June, 2017: A local Non-Governmental Organization, Disaster Alert Network Sierra Leone (DAN-SL), working to ameliorate community vulnerabilities and disasters have identified twenty-one (21) disaster prone communities in the Western Area that need urgent attention.
These areas are within the Western Area and will soon be visited by the network to sensitize the inhabitants in those areas on safety measures and hygiene.
|Kroobay Slum in the heart of the City Freetown
The network has already formed a Network of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in those identified communities in collaboration with community key stakeholders and government representatives.
It has also recruited and trained over thirty (30) Disaster Control Field Workers on prevention, preparedness, Early Warning and immediate Alert System for proactive measures, operations and relief system who will be visiting those prone areas.
The network has reached all the four regions in the country and focuses on community accessibility of clean and safe drinking water through the provision of community water wells and boreholes in remote villages/towns and places of public interest like nearby Village Schools, Village Health Centres, Market Places (Luma) and Court Barries.
In addition, the network looks at environmental issues, forest protection and cultural diversification programs that will preserve society, maintain our culture and traditional village settings that is gradually fading away.
Speaking to journalists in Freetown, the Chief Executive Director of DAN-SL Mamoud Maddi Jabbie said DAN-SL is a nationwide organization that concentrates on both the urban and rural communities, noting that the unavailability of community defecating points forced people to use the streams and other places to defecate and as a result pollute the water and exposed people to many contagious diseases, he added that his organization seeks to support the construction of defecating centres (village toiletry system), boreholes and water wells in nearby Schools and Villages/towns, health centres.
As a result of the inadequacy and non-availability of the above mentioned facilities, the teenage pregnancy and school dropout is very high in the towns/villages, because they fetch water at a far distance in the early morning before going to school and late in the evening after school, the water is contaminated, polluted which they have to boiled, before drinking, or allow the particle to settle before drinking and as a result of these shortcut it leads to disease outbreak and stomach swelling.
The CED further noted that the network will form Rural School Disaster Teams (RSDT) to boost preparedness, control measures and Alert Authorities on subsequent outbreak. Elders and leaders, religious leaders, teachers and students, government representatives etc. in disaster prone communities and villages will participate in all our activities because at DANSL the community comes first and in addition formed a Network of Emergency Response and Inter-Community Local Monitoring Teams (ERILMT) for identification of risks and immediate alarm.
The network focuses on the following National and International Networking of CBOs/NGOs, Institutions with similar thematic area of operations, clean safe and affordable drinking water in the regions and remote villages, Proactive measures to prevent/stop an accident from occurring, Free and affordable Adult Education that will cater for the less privilege who never fortunate to go to school and prepared them to read and write in the villages and towns, Facilitate (preparedness) and provide the operational capability to prevent, protect against, respond to, recovered from an accident and Early warning, alarm and alert (information) the authorities, awareness campaign, the populace and the media.
Narrating on their vision, Mr. Jabbie said ‘Our mission is to recruit, train, post and create public awareness by providing any time anywhere and any place with knowledge on disaster preparedness, early warning and Network CBOs in Disaster Prone communities.’
Since we are in the raining season our main priority now is flood disaster reduction and awareness campaign on the do’s and don’ts of flood disaster and alert messages on early warning, preparedness and risk reduction
The Network will collaborate with the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MEST) and institutions on how they can introduce disaster related subjects/modules in their syllabus and curriculums to boost preparedness, early warning and mitigation control processes and recovery. Ministries, Agencies and Departments to help institute proper sanitary system in the villages which when lacking as it is now leads to cholera, diarrhea and other disease outbreaks.
The Network will partner with the Office of National Security (ONS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Sierra Leone Police, Sierra Leone Road Authority (SLRA), Guma Valley/SLWACO, Ministry of Water Resources (MWR), UNICEF, ADB, Local Government and other Local and International Organization with similar thematic operational areas.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.