NDMA’s Conference Room, Aberdeen, Freetown, 11th November 2021 — The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) held a second inter-pillar meeting with stakeholders on the Wellington PMB fire incident. The NDMA is strategic in coordinating all pillars to ensure effective management of the incident.
The Deputy Director-General of NDMA, John V Rogers, stressed the essence of the meeting in addressing the dreadful incident. “We want to make sure we are in tune with what is happening; to ensure the interventions and measures taken are in place, and how to overcome the challenges,” he stated.
Amongst those present, there was representation from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), Freetown City Council (FCC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Fire Force (NFF), UNICEF, and the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society amongst others.
The inaugural pillar meeting on Sunday, 7th November 2021, brought together stakeholders from various agencies and more, including local partners that helped gather resources, which enabled the management of victims in the hospitals and the assessment of the affected families.
The Director-General, National Disaster Management Agency, Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Brima Sesay, appreciated the various existing pillars that have been working tirelessly at their pillar level to ensure the Wellington incident was well responded to. However, he appealed that only pillar heads should present on behalf of their pillars. He entreated NDMA’s partners, local NGO’s and Agencies to continue the good work throughout the response phases to recovery.
The Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, said the coordination meeting organized by the NDMA is timely to ensure a coordinated approach in responding to the Wellington incident. She pledged her commitment to work with NDMA to ensure a seamless transition of hospitalized victims to recovery.
She further appealed to all present to heighten the call for blood donations from the public. She said blood is amongst the most critical medical response item needed to save the lives of hospitalized victims.
Both Directors of Risk Reduction and Preparedness and Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, National Disaster Management Agency, Thomas Lebbie and Abubakarr Bangura, on behalf of the NDMA, presented a ten-week road map, a trajectory from the emergency to stabilization and recovery. The recollection of the coordination effort from day one of the incident and preceding days; from coordinating the national Fire Force, NEMS, conducting damage assessment, state burial of the diseased and ongoing contact tracing.
The Incident Manager of the fire accident, Dr. Mustapha Sundufu Kabbah, affirmed that 63 patients are in five hospitals in the city. He said, “at Connaught Hospital, we have 29 patients, Emergency Hospital 14 patients, 34 Military Hospital 11, Choithram Hospital 7 and Rokupa Hospital 2 patients; and 19 patients are in a critical situation.” However, he said they have started recording improvement in most of the patients.
The Director of Food and Nutrition, who doubles as the Head of Nutrition Pillar, Aninata Shamit Koroma, informed the gathering that they have been able to provide nutritious food for hospitalized patients. However, they will need support in the coming days.
The NDMA is assuring the public of its commitment to effectively coordinate all stakeholders in addressing the Wellington PMB Fire incident as its continues to receive support as the authorized institution responsible for handling all donations for the benefit of the victims and affected families.
The public is also assured of regular updates relating to all donations received by NDMA consistent with the Wellington Fire Incident.
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