By State House Communications Unit :
As part of its corporate social responsibility and as a way of responding adequately to the public health emergency, a leading mineral company, Sierra Rutile on Tuesday 19th August donated the sum of Le.1 billion (One Billion Leones) to President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House, to help government in the fight against the deadly Ebola outbreak in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of Sierra Rutile, Mr. John B. Sisay described the cash donation as the beginning of his company’s intervention towards a worthy national cause. “When we relayed what was happening in Sierra Leone and the effort government is making, with the help and support that is necessary to our major shareholders, they deemed it necessary that it is important to show their alignment with not only Sierra Rutile but with Sierra Leone. That’s why they sent Mr. Browne to represent them as we make this donation,” he said.
Mr. Sisay vowed that Sierra Rutile will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the government of Sierra Leone because the interest and future of the country and the company are aligned, adding that they also fully understand that once the physical fight of containing Ebola is done, dealing with the aftermath and the economic impact of Ebola on the general Sierra Leone economy will be the next battle to fight.
Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Hon. Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray who led the delegation, presented the cheque of Le.1 billion to President Koroma to scale up the fight against Ebola.
President Koroma expressed his gratitude to the company’s C.E.O. and board members for the donation, whilst describing it as the highest contribution that has been received so far in the fight against the disease. He further praised Mr. Sisay for staying the course even when others were running to health havens.
The President observed that although figures emerging now indicate that the worst is almost over, he however described the situation as still worrisome. This, he said, will not make government become complacent.
“We will continue with our efforts in handling treatment cases and we will continue with our social mobilization to ensure that the transmission from person to person is reduced substantially and eventually eliminated,” he vowed.
President Koroma said Sierra Leone needs all of it friends at this time as Ebola has put a lot of things to test noting that; “We have lost our health workers, including doctors,” while underscoring the seriousness of the situation for which he called on all and sundry to work together as a nation.
He explained that it has taught the country and government to work with friends and rely on institutions that have the capacity to respond with limited bureaucracy. The President added that government will continue to appeal to the international community to provide what is takes for Sierra Leone to present a wholesome fight against the outbreak.
“We have gaps here and there in the fight but I am sure with the efforts we are making and the determination we have shown, all of us will come together and address the issue. But as you had rightly indicated, beyond the Ebola, we will have to be face with social and economic repercussions. We have already put in place a team to look at the impact all of these will have on our economy,” President Koroma said.
The President expressed optimism that within 60 – 90 days government will surely make Ebola a thing of the past in Sierra Leone.