Wednesday, 23 September 2015 00:00

Sierra Leone News: With support from WHH …SEND boosts Security personnel with protective gears

As Kailahun District clocks over 200 days without any new case of the deadly ebola virus, the Social Enterprise Development (SEND) Foundation with funds from Welthungerhilfer (WHH) have provided protective gears to security personnel in 32 border crossing points.

Among the items presented to the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and Immigration Officers includes raincoats, rain boots, torchlights, solar lights, radios, mattress and bed sheets among others.

It could be recalled that at the peak of the ebola virus in the district, security personnel provided security for quarantine households and communities, controlled and prevented the movement of people to stop the disease from spreading and were at the fore front of implementing the Public Health Emergency across the country with little or no protective gears.

This according to the Country Director of SEND, Joseph Ayamga, was a demonstration of patriotism by the security personnel who did all they could to ensure the District and the country is free from ebola, adding that the security personnel have 56 border crossing points to control.

“Unfortunately these borders are porous and out of the 56 crossing points, only 7 are manned by security personnel. With funds from WHH through the DFID emergency ebola response funds (DEERF) SEND continues to support the National Security agenda to engage security personnel to undertake regular patrol” he recalled.

He disclosed that during their investigation at the border crossing points, they were able to realise that most of the crossing points lacked security personnel, no shelter for security personnel, no mobile facility to enable regular and effective patrol and they also lack basic logistics such as torch lights, batteries, hand washing materials and radio among others.

The Country Director maintained that presently 25 shelters are under construction in 7 Chiefdoms for security personnel which according to plan must be completed by the 25th September 2015 when all the necessary equipment will be handed over to the Office of National Security (ONS) as a compliment towards Government’s effort in improving the condition of security personnel.

This revelation by the CD brought smiles to the faces of the security personnel who have been waiting for this for a very long time, since they presently find it very difficult to perform their duties as they have no option but to leave the border crossing points in the evening hours for their shelters in the nearby villages.

According to the Local Unit Commander in Kailahun District, Superintendent Francis Aiah Benya, this is the first time that an NGO is aiding security personnel in that light and that SEND Foundation have been supporting them in doing patrol across the District which he wants other NGOs to replicate to ensure proper security.

Captain Karifa Mansaray who is in charge of Border Patrol expressed thanks and appreciation to SEND and their partners for their timely intervention in support of the security personnel working along the border crossing points.

In terms of accommodation at Border crossing points, we are not better off. Presently I have been transporting the materials for the construction of shelters in 25 crossing points throughout this week so that they will be completed at the stipulated date” he disclosed.

He maintained that security business involves everyone and not the government alone, encouraging other NGOs to come on-board in helping security personnel in Kailahun and other Districts across the country.

Story by Alhaji M. Kamara

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Post Office Box 54
Kenema, Sierra Leone
+232 78 20 68 53