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Our heart goes for Sierra Leone

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Liberia’s next-door neighbors, the people of Sierra Leone, are still grappling with the aftermath of Friday’s (November 5, 2021) tanker explosion in that country that left over a hundred persons dead and more than a hundred others severely burnt to several degrees.

The Government of Sierra Leone on Monday, 8 November began burying the dead in mass graves right in the same cemetery it had interred over 1,000 of its citizens who died as a result of a mudslide in 2017, according to the BBC. Reports say hospitals in Freetown, the capital, are overstretched with survivors from Friday’s incident when a lorry collided with a tanker that subsequently exploded in the traffic. Hospitals are facing an acute shortage of blood.

Our heart is with the people of Sierra Leone as they mourn their lost relatives and friends. We urge them to take solace in God Almighty for the unfortunate tragedy and to learn lessons to avoid future occurrences.

The Government of President Julius Maada Bio has commissioned a task force to investigate and make recommendations that would avoid a repeat of such an excruciating nightmare in the sisterly nation.

Here in Liberia, President George Manneh Weah has described the accident as a major tragedy for the West African region and extended heartfelt condolences to his counterpart, President Julius Maada Bio, the Government, and people of Sierra Leone, families of the deceased, and all those impacted by the accident.  

President Weah offered Liberia’s full support and assistance, as the Sierra Leonean authorities begin efforts to treat the injured and recover the dead. “I am saddened by the dreadful loss of lives in Freetown, Sierra Leone, resulting from an explosion of a fuel tanker on Friday, November 5, 2021”,  Pres. Weah said in a press statement.

Liberia and Sierra Leone enjoy longstanding historic and cultural ties that date back to the 17th  and 18th centuries when both countries received free black slaves returning from America and the West Indies. Besides the two countries are members of the Mano River Union, a subregional bloc, including the larger Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union, formerly the Organization of African Unity, respectively.

Friday’s experience is not unique to Sierra Leone, as West Africa and other parts of the Continent from time to time experience one disaster and another. Nigeria, Ghana, and elsewhere in the region had suffered a similar fate, leaving scores, if not hundreds, dead and families devastated. These tragedies usually happen as the result of allowing vehicles with combustible contents to ply in populated areas or poor handling of inflammable commodities.    

Tragedy of such proportion has a way of taken an entire nation and its people off balance, particularly small nations amid a global health pandemic that has devastated the world’s economies and restricted movement or travel.

However, as it is often said, every tragedy is accompanied by life-changing opportunities that should be exploited in order to move forward. It is our hope and prayers that in the midst of the loss characterized by pains, tears, and gloom, the Government and people of Sierra Leone would break new grounds, put the past behind, and look forward with hope and faith in God, the Sustainer, Healer, and Comforter.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/president-weah-consoles-sierra-leone/

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