_*Date: 14th August 2017*_
_*FLOODING AND MUDSLIDE TRAGEDY IN REGENT*_
_*By: Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio*_
On Monday, 14th August 2017 while on a trip abroad, I learnt of the terrible tragedy caused by natural disaster that has befallen various communities in the Western Area of Freetown.
While the full scale of the devastation to lives and properties caused by the flooding and mudslide are being assessed, initial reports indicate that over three hundred citizens have lost their lives and billions of Leones worth in properties have been destroyed.
As our country mourns this terrible tragedy, I wish to join my Party, the Sierra Leone People’s Party to express my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families for the huge loss of their loved ones. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrible disaster.
Our country has shown resilience in the face of natural disasters in the past and regardless of our politics, I wish to implore all of us as citizens to stand together as a nation during this moment of national tragedy. The strength of our collective effort as citizens should be used to support the bereaved families and victims who have been devastated by this human tragedy.
I want to thank all the humanitarian agencies, the media, the national disaster emergency and response team, the security agencies, medical personnel and members of the public who have shown exemplary acts of compassion and care to the victims and affected families in providing assistance and support.
Therefore, I call on the Government to do everything necessary to provide urgent assistance to the victims and affected families. Also, as a mark of respect to honour our fallen compatriots, I call on Government to declare three (3) days of national mourning to show solidarity with the bereaved families and pray for those who have passed away.
In light of this national tragedy and the scale of the devastation to the lives of compatriots, I have decided to cut short my overseas trip and return immediately to Sierra Leone and support the collective response to this national tragedy.
May our good Lord grant comfort to the victims and their families at this time of grief and may the souls of all those departed compatriots, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.