The Sierra Leone Red Cross society has commissioned a modern warehouse building, measuring one thousand three hundred squire kilometres, worth CHF 450 million, Swiss Franc, equivalent to the sum of 3.5 billion Leones.
According to Mohamed Bah, the Acting Logistics officer, the warehouse is fully equipped to house different items ranging from food and non-food items for the Red Cross operations and another facility to host goods from other bodies with needs to utilise the warehouse at an affordable rate.
Speaking at the ceremony, Gbawuro Sandi, the Sierra Leone Red Cross society’s new Secretary General said: “The society was established in 1962, as an auxiliary to the government of Sierra Leone to respond to emergency and disaster relief.”
He said, since that time, they had storage facility constraints. In the wake of the Ebola disaster in 2014 and the mudslide and flash floods disasters in 2015, he said, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent society, thought it fit to provide warehouse facilities to be able to preposition emergency response and disaster relief items whenever they are needed at crucial moments.”
Mr. Sandi said, Waterloo is strategically located to serve Freetown and immediate environs as the federation also equally constructed a warehouse in Bo to serve the South-Eastern part of Sierra Leone with funds from the UK Aids.
The current facility, he said, has disaster preparedness and emergency support and relief items worth one hundred and fifty million Leones.
The Red Cross scribe said the society is doing a lot to improve the capacity of workers and volunteers as they were recently trained to be able to respond to high level national disasters.
He called on the government to go by the Act, which established the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society. The Act, he said, provides for the government to provide the society’s core cost, which takes care of office rental, fuel, vehicle maintenance, electricity, emoluments for staff, volunteers and office utilities.
Other speakers -include the Vice President of the society, the Ward Councillors, representative of IFRC, the German Embassy, the Local Unit Commander of the Waterloo Police and a host of others mentioned the crucial role the society has played in providing quick response to disasters and emergency cases, citing the Ebola and the mudslide incidents as clear examples.