UN Country Team pays solidarity visit to the Wellington fire disaster site.
09 November 2021
It was quite unfortunate that many young people, particularly Okada riders were reportedly lost in this incident.
Thirteen UN Heads of Agencies, Funds and Programmes operating in Sierra Leone led by WFP’s Country Representative and Resident Coordinator ai, Mr Steve Nsubuga, today visited the epicentre of last Friday’s fuel tanker disaster at Wellington, in the outskirts of Freetown.
The collision of the fuel tanker, together with a truck carrying granite stones, has led to the loss of about 115 lives, with fears that the number may continue to rise.
The team from FAO, IMF, IOM, UNDP, UNFPA, UNIDO, UNICEF, UNOPS, WFP, WHO, AfDB, UNFPA and the Resident Coordinator’s Office were received at the Incident Command Center by the Director of Response, National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Mr Sinneh Mansaray before they were taken on a conducted tour of the affected area.
Deputy Director-General of the NDMA Mr John Rogers briefed the UN Country Team about what happened that fateful night and the efforts that are being made to bury the dead and treat the injured. He recognized the effort that UN agencies are making through NDMA to support the Government.
The Mayor of the Freetown City Council Ms Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, who was joined by her Deputy Mr Osman Koroma, said it was good to see the UNCT show solidarity to the victims and survivors of the incident.
On behalf of the UNCT, Mr Steve Nsubuga said it was quite unfortunate that many young people, particularly Okada riders were reportedly lost in this incident. “Perhaps through their association, the Okada Riders should be supported to become champions of road safety- instead of leaving this entirely to the police and other authorities. In this case and knowing the extreme danger, it is those that most commonly use the road that should have taken the initiative to establish perimeters around the scene,” he said.
The RC a.i said the UN commiserate with the family, relatives, and friends of the dead. He wished those in hospitals a speedy recovery and assured all that the UNCT is already engaged with the various national agencies in providing the necessary support and coordination in the aftermath of the tragic incident.