A Non-Governmental Organization known as the Sierra Leone Poverty Alleviation Agency (SILPA) is a registered Essential Service provider with its National headquarters at 74 Blama Road, Kenema; Branch Offices at 5 Ngombu Ngborie Street, Kono Spark, Koidu City, Kono District and at 4 Police Barracks Road, Makeni City, Bombali District.
SILPA on Wednesday 3rd September 2014, supplied food and non-food items worth millions of Leones to three quarantined homes in Giema Dama community in Dama chiefdom Kenema district.
The items donated include rice, palm oil, bundles of water, hand washing buckets, soap and salt among others.
In a meeting held at Giema court barry before the distribution, the Executive Director SILPA Alfred Kabba Swarray called on all to put hands together in ensuring that the Ebola deadly disease is driven away from our communities.
He says Ebola does not have respect for tribe, religion, education and development and therefore it is the greatest enemy in our midst adding that one individual group alone cannot win the battle but by collaborative effort.
He disclosed that in partnership with UNICEF Sierra Leone SILPA is implementing Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), School Led Total Sanitation (SLTS) in two Chiefdoms namely, Sanda Taindaren and Gbendembu Ngowahun in the Bombali District; in Dama Chiefdom in Kenema District and Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), Infant and Young Children Feeding practices in 14 Chiefdoms in Kono district and in 2 Chiefdoms in Koinadugu District supported by UNICEF funds.
He went on that SILPA is working in partnership with WFP, providing food for work (FFW) in vulnerable Communities in Kono District for Swamp Development.
In light of the above, SILPA with the consent and approval of UNICEF Sierra Leone, has been and is still carrying out voluntary Community civic education exercise on the outbreak and preventive methods of Ebola Virus in SILPA in the operational Chiefdoms Communities with no cost to UNICEF or any other donor at the moment.
The Executive Director says SILPA has conducted series of Community meetings in her above mentioned Chiefdom Communities relating to the prevention of Ebola virus in these operational communities, and that during the sensitization campaign in Dama Chiefdom, SILPA is going to inform UNICEF WASH Manager, the Government of Sierra Leone, line Ministry of Health and Sanitation and other stakeholders, that Geima Dama in the Dama Chiefdom Kenema District had at one time got an Ebola suspect visitor from Kenema which caused three households to be put on quarantine since the 25th of August 2014.
In view of this, SILPA Management and Board have decided to provide these quarantine homes in Geima Dama with emergency food & Non-food items because it was found out by SILPA outreach field staff tracer that these suspects’ movement have been restricted but had no food supply since the 25th August 2014. As essential Service provider, SILPA Management has provided funds in order to purchase emergency food and non-food items as SILPA’s voluntary contribution to the quarantine homes in Geima Dama in the Dama Chiefdom. UNICEF Sierra Leone is the only donor organization for SILPA at the moment.
Hon. Lansana Ibrahim Kemokai of constituency 018 thanked SILPA for its timely intervention, saying the act of SILPA as an NGO at this crucial time is an indelible ink not only in his mind as a political head in the chiefdom but also in the minds of the beneficiaries and the government.
He called on them and other organizations to do more for his people, thereby doing everything possible in containing the disease in the chiefdom and his constituency.
The chiefdom speaker Alhaji Sheku Mansaray expressed thanks to SILPA for their gesture, which he says is just like coming to the aid of a child when he or she is crying in the absent of the mother and father. He commended them for giving the items directly to the beneficiaries and assure all that they as chiefdom authorities will continue doing their best by implementing the bye laws to the letter in their communities in order to defeat the Ebola virus, which he say will surely happen soonest. The head of the Kenema District Task Force logistic unit Brima Koroma assure beneficiaries that their affairs is at the center of the heart of Kenema District Ebola Task Force and that whatever their concern will be seriously look into.
He called on all and sundry to go by the advice of the medical personnel, so that we all can defeat our common enemy.
By Saffa Moriba
Tuesday September 09, 2014