By Foday Moriba Conteh
In a joint effort aimed at alleviating the sufferings and hardships faced by 200 households in various parts of Freetown, Caritas Freetown, with invaluable support from The German Doctors for Developing Countries has on Monday 11th September, 2023 donated food items worth millions of Leones to victims of these 200 households who were severely affected by devastating floods on Dundas Street, at Kroo Bay and Bololo Communities in Freetown. The distribution ceremony was held at the Caritas Office on St. Edwards Compound at Kingtom in Freetown.
In his address, the Program Manager for Caritas Freetown, Ishmeal Alfred Charles said Caritas Freetown, supported by German Doctors for Developing Countries, launched a project aimed at addressing the urgent needs of individuals severely affected by recent floods on Dundas Street, at Kroo Bay and Bololo Communities.
He said that the project began with a transient work initiative funded by German Doctors for Developing Countries, an organization dedicated to supporting communities in the global South, particularly in slum and rural areas and that a dedicated team of volunteers conducted the initial assessment of the flood disasters striving to understand the unique needs and conditions of the affected victims in the aforementioned areas.
He stated that Caritas Freetown then embarked on a meticulous registration process, meticulously identifying and prioritizing the 200 most vulnerable families among those affected by the recent floods, noting that the process emphasized fairness and transparency, ensuring that aid reaches those who were most severely impacted and in need, with a particular focus on female-headed households.
The Program Manager said subsequently, Caritas Freetown, proceeded to distribute essential food items to the flood victims in Kroo Bay, Dundas Street, and Bololo and that the 200 selected households, deemed the most severely affected by the floods, each received supplies including 50-kilogram bags of rice, 1 gallon of cooking oil, 400 grams of salt, 10 grams of Maggi cubes, 18kg of onions, and 1 gallon of palm oil.
Additionally, in a gesture of support, 120 women and girls aged 13 and above received dignity kits. These kits contained sanitary pads, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bathing soaps, laundry soaps, underwear, and slippers, providing them with essential personal care items.
The Executive Director of Caritas Freetown, Reverend Father Peter Konteh, reaffirmed their commitment to responding promptly to people’s needs in times of crisis. He acknowledged that, even as the suffering of the beneficiaries may fade from others’ minds, Caritas remains steadfast in its support.
He said that the response to the suffering of flood victims on Dundas Street, at Kroo Bay, and through a project, funded by German Doctors for Developing Countries, has made a substantial impact on these communities, disclosing that from the initial transient work assessment to the meticulous registration process and the subsequent distribution of vital food items and dignity kits, the collaborative effort has brought relief and support to those affected.
“As we reflect on the collective endeavors and positive outcomes achieved, it underscores the importance of unity and compassion in times of adversity. I want to reassure you all that Caritas, together with our partners, will continue their humanitarian efforts, driven by their core pillar of “love in action,” he concluded.
The Country Representative of German Doctors for Developing Countries, Fanta Daboh, highlighted the organization’s dedication to the healthcare sector in Sierra Leone, emphasizing that good health is paramount to individual well-being and survival. This initiative also stems from their commitment to helping communities become healthier, extending support to those affected by the flooding.
One of the beneficiaries, Fatmata Binta Jalloh expressed her deep gratitude for the invaluable assistance provided by Caritas Freetown and The German Doctors for Developing Countries.
She said that since the incident Caritas Freetown and partners have been supporting them in order to help alleviate their sufferings as affected persons. Fatmata Binta Jalloh further said that the donated food items will help them greatly especially at this decisive moment in the country.