Country Director of the United Nations Office of Project Service (UNOPS), Nick Gardner has warned Sierra Leoneans against a pending disaster at Regent community.
He made this warning during a commemoration ceremony held on Wednesday 11th April 2018 at Regent Community where he cautioned residents not to continue building houses in the vicinity of the August 14, 2017 mud/landslide as according to him the area is still prone to future disaster.
The ceremony which was held at Mount Sugar Loaf was geared towards planting of trees in the mudslide site to prevent future disasters as they remembered the August 14th 2017 mudslide victims.
According to the UNOPS Country Director they are aware of the sad event that happened on 14 August 2017 when many people lost families, friends, and property, houses and loved ones; noting that they were gathered there to remember those who were lost during the dreadful event.
He added that they are going to make sure they do everything they can so that such things do not happen any longer, noting that recent rainfall is an indication that the country is fast moving towards the rainy season and so they need to act fast.
“For the past 8 months we have been working closely with the World Bank and the Government of Sierra Leone to investigate the condition of the site and to come up with a solution to reduce the risk to life in disaster prone areas,” Gardner said to his audience.
The ground according to Gardner is still very unstable, adding that there is still a risk for mudslide and flooding. He however said that this year they will do some earthwork with big machines to compact the earth and move some materials around to make the slope safer.
“As I said before, this site will never be 100% safe and we will not allow people to build houses there any longer but we shall rather plant trees after the earthwork on the slope so that it can become a natural forest reserve for us not to have future mudslides,” he said.
Elenora Jokomeh Metzger Head Woman Regent Community commended UNOPS and the Government of Sierra Leone and the World Bank for the good plan, noting that they are not happy and are still in shock following the August 14th disaster in their community.
“Some of our community youths will not be employed in the project because UNOPS will be using machines to do the works,” Metzger said.
She added that the work UNOPS will be doing in their community is for the good of the community and that they do not want such disasters to reoccur in their community.