By Fatmata Jengbe
Orange Sierra Leone (SL), on Wednesday 17th June, 2020, donated the sum of Le1, 000, 000,000 (One Billion Leones) to the Sierra Leone Government through the National COVID-19 Response Centre (NACOVERC) during an event that took place at the Ministry of Information and Communications Conference Room at Youyi Building in Freetown.
Speaking during the donation event, the Chief Executive Officer of Orange SL telecommunications company, Aminata Kane Ndiaye, commended the National COVID-19 Emergency Response Center (NACOVERC) for what she described as its tireless efforts in scaling up the fight against COVID-19, stating that the donation the company is dishing out is considered special further disclosing how they believe such will greatly support the fight against the spread and ultimate defeat of COVID-19 in the country.
She disclosed further that funds that have been donated so far by the company were and are meant for coronavirus awareness sensitization in the country especially in the provinces which, according to her , are contributions made with the avowed objective of curtailing the spread of the virus, also pointing out that since the country recorded its first index case, Orange-SL has been working in close and direct partnership with the Government to map out and strategize as well as implement measures directed towards how to combat the newly emerged enemy that has ravaged nations around the globe.
She assured Government that they will continue to support the campaign against COVID-19 until such a time when the virus would be defeated and the country returns back to normalcy.
Orange-SL CEO revealed how the company has made it possible for most of their subscribers to have access to the internet so that they can learn more about the COVID-19 preventive measures maintaining that they will continue to fight until the virus is defeated.
Chief of Staff of the NACOVERC, Solomon Caulker, expressed gratitude and appreciation to Orange-SL for the kind gesture which he referred to as the biggest financial intervention from the telecoms sector in the country.
He disclosed that they are extremely happy for what was donated saying such will help to make it possible for all districts in Sierra Leone to benefit especially as the funds are meant for coronavirus awareness sensitization in the country more so in the provinces
Solomon Caulker also stated that one of the most important elements needed in the fight against the virus is comprehensive and effective public information dissemination and public education in order to ensure that members of the public adhere and practice all the recommended health protocols also underscoring how public education campaigns on COVID-19 will be intensified with the aim of countering negative messaging and myths about the virus, which he asserted are more prevalent in the provinces.
On his part, the Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rado Swarray commended Orange-SL for the kind gesture describing it as a timely intervention towards the fight against COVID-19 in the country.
He averred that the donation from Orange-SL ,geared towards implementing campaigns against COVID-19, is a true manifestation of the trust and confidence that the telecoms company reposes in the leadership of the ‘New Direction’ Government.
The Minister suggested that more attention should be paid to the provinces during this crucial moment in order to win the fight against the virus also affirming that Orange-SL has always been very supportive since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country. He recalled that the partnership between Government and the telecoms company to scale up the fight commenced immediately after the outbreak of COVID-19 when Government approached relevant stakeholders and development partners for assistance and Orange SL responded appropriately.
He appealed to the telecoms company not to shut its doors, but to continue to be on the side of Government until the virus is kicked out of Sierra Leone.