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Friday, June 21, 2024

LIBERIAN RED CROSS RESPONDS TO GBARPOLU’ STORM DISASTER

Date:

-DONATE ASSORTED RELIEF MATERIALS INCLUDING FOOD AND ESSENTIAL NONFOOD ITEMS

MONROVIA – The Liberia National Red Cross Society has made its second donation to people affected by a violent storm in two counties in Liberia. The Red Cross made its first donation of assorted relief materials to more than 270 people affected in district two of Grand Bassa County on February 24 before quickly mobilizing additional resources to support the people affected in Gbaquois Town, Gbarpolu County.

A violent storm hit Gbarquois Town, Gbarpolu County, and lasted for almost an hour on February 12, 2023. The storm destroyed deroofed and broke down many homes and made more than 200 people including 102 males and 103 females homeless. 58 children are among those affected including a five-year-old girl who was injured and a visually impaired mother who was made homeless.

“When the incident happens, our volunteers moved quickly on the ground to assess the level of damage and document the number of affected people. It was established that 68 structures including 62 private homes and six public buildings were badly affected”

At least 14 communities were badly affected by the violent storm which took place on February 12 in two Counties. The violent storm in Gbarquois town also affected 13 towns and villages in District 2 of Grand Bassa County where 41 homes were damaged and left at least 278 people including 137 males and 141 females homeless.

Some of the affected populations were temporarily sheltered by friends, family members, and loved ones while others slept under opened kitchens.  “Our homes were destroyed, and we don’t have anywhere to stay at the moment. I and my wife and two kids are sleeping under an opened kitchen until we can rebuild our home”, one of the storm victims told the Red Cross team. “We need blankets and mats to keep us warm. We are hungry and we need food as well”, the man said.

The Liberian Red Cross as a humanitarian organization and a first responder is deeply concerned with the repeated violent storms affecting towns and villages in both Grand Bassa and Gbarpolu Counties. “The violent storm on February 12 was extremely troubling and we are deeply concerned about those affected”, the Secretary General of the Liberian Red Cross Gregory Blamoh has told the Press.  Mr. Blamoh added:  “You can imagine when a disaster of such occurs, the humanitarian consequences can be grave. And this was also one of the worst cases”

The Liberian Red Cross Secretary General Said people in the two affected areas are self-reliant and were unprepared for such disasters, adding that the violent storms have created a devastating impact on the lives of the people and further worsened their existing vulnerabilities. “We need actionable steps not only to speed up recovery but to protect and preserve their dignity and help communities to build back better and withstand future stock”, Mr. Blamoh pointed out.

“The resources we have at the moment are insufficient to replenish all the losses in the Gbarpois Town, but we will continue to offer hope and support and we ensure that the dignity of the people is preserved and protected”, he added.

The Liberian Red Cross has donated assorted essential food and non-food items to the affected communities.  “We have successfully completed the distribution of assorted relief materials including food and essential nonfood items to those affected in Gbarpolu County”.

The Red Cross distributed used cloths, sleeping mats, blankets, buckets, soap, and tarpaulins. Other food items included rice, vegetable oil, vita, salt and toothpaste.  This is the second disaster response by the Liberian Red Cross in less than a week.  Mr. Blamoh empathized that the relief and recovery materials at their disposal are steadily diminishing.

“We are calling for increased support, donation, partnership and collaboration to address the disaster impacts in these communities and enable us to address any other future disasters”.  He said the Liberian Red Cross will continue to engage and work closely with our partners and those wishing to collaborate and support their efforts in addressing the humanitarian consequences in storm-affected communities and ensure that people recover and rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

The Gbarpolu County Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal Affairs Anthony Yorkor has expressed appreciation on behalf of the county Authority to the Liberia National Red Cross Society. “We have been following your activities, this is not the first time, we continue to partnership with you, in support of our people in times like these “he indicated. “We will keep up  the collaboration  in meeting  the humanitarian needs  of affected people, especially as a result of the recent storm.”

In an exciting mood, the Town Chief of Gbarpois Town Beyan Kollie could not hold back his emotion to voice out his gratitude to the leadership of the Liberia National Red Cross Society for their timely intervention during these challenging times.  “I am happy for what the Red Cross people brought for my people today. If my people are happy there will be no problem, so I say thank you to the Red Cross “he said.

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