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Sierra Leone storm leaves hundreds homeless in Kono

By Septimus Senessie in Kono.

A heavy storm in the evening hours of Easter Sunday blew off the roofs of scores of dwelling houses in Koidu, completely destroying some of the houses, leaving hundreds of people homeless, with property worth millions of Leones wasted.

There were no fatalities in the aftermath of the storm but some people sustained injuries.

Such was the intensity of the storm that some economic trees planted houses to serve as shields were virulently uprooted.

A widow Alice Bobor, a widow of 8 children at 45 Jericho Street in Koidu said that the destructive storm totally unroofed her four bedroom house within five minutes. The widow added that she lost almost all her including her children’s school materials.

Sahr Sheku, another victim also recounted a similar story to politico. He said his six bedroom building was totally unroofed by the  heavy storm, adding that one his wives sustained an injury on her foot while trying to protect her children from any fatality during the storm.

He said he and his family passed the night in one of the churches in their community, adding that they were not also sure whether they would be able to repair their house before the rains considering the wide scale nature of the destruction.

Sharing his sympathy with the affected victims, the mayor of Koidu, Saa Emerson Lamina described the storm as “serious and worrisome,” adding that “the poor were always vulnerable to all storm disasters that had occurred in the district.”

He said that was not the first time such had occurred in the city and the district as a whole, adding that such destructions do occur at start and end of every rainy season in the district.

The mayor said they did not exactly know the total number of houses destroyed but that he had dispatched the council's disaster management committee in collaboration with the Office of the National Security in the district to go all over the city to take note of the damage. He said council  would lobby the government and other humanitarian organisations to help the storm affected victims.

Paramount Chief of Gbanneh Chiefdom, Aiah Bindi Fenfagongor said this year's storm that wreaked havoc in district started in his chiefdom last week with the complete destruction of over 25 dwelling houses. He said if proper measures were not put in place by the central government for the protection of its people against such disasters, it would lead to “homelessness and hopelessness.”

(C) Politico 24/04/14