A Sierra Leonean philanthropist who is on international duties at the United Nations, Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella,has donated a total of 1,275 bags of 25kg rice to quarantined homes in the 12 districts of Sierra Leone. The donation was done at the Datsun Garage at Bai Bureh Road at Kissy, in the east end of Freetown on Friday.
According to the Western Area Chairman of the Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella (KKY) Movement, Brima Keita, the outbreak of the Ebola virus has affected the West African sub-region, and it has become an international problem. He said the donation is to consolidate the efforts of the President Koroma government, adding that the 1,275 bags of rice will be given to the quarantined homes with the help of the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC). The Western Area KKY Movement Chairman said the three-day sit- at- home helped the EOC to identify areas that are mostly affected by the virus, adding that the mostly affected areas will get more bags of rice.
“Dr. Kandeh Yumkella is thinking about us even though he is out of the country. He has been organizing international fundraising programmes to fight the Ebola viral disease in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea,” he said. The KKY Movement Organizing Secretary, Issa Kolleh Dumbuya, said the group is convinced that when President Koroma ends his second term, Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella is seen as the one fit to take his place. He said this is not a time of politics, but a national fight against a common enemy--Ebola-- that has nearly engulfed the nation. He said ‘’when someone comes to your aid in time of sorrow, that person is a friend indeed, and that is what Dr. Yumkella has demonstrated to all Sierra Leoneans.’’
Isata Jabbie Kabbah, the wife of the late President Tejan Kabbah, said this is a time that most people cannot afford food to eat, especially if their communities are quarantined. She also said that the situation in the country has led to the closure of some factories, stressing that workers have lost their jobs, and many institutions now find it difficult to pay salaries. While expressing her deepest condolence to the bereaved families of Ebola victims, she called on Sierra Leoneans to observe preventive measures in order to stop the spread of the Ebola virus. KKY Movement Eastern Regional Chairperson, Haja Memunatu Koroma, said that Dr. Yumkella at the initial stage of the Ebola outbreak, donated 40 bags of rice to the children of the nurses that died of Ebola in Kenema District. She said this time again ‘’he has donated over 1000 bags of rice to quarantined homes, which is an indication that he has concern for his people and the country as well.’’ She called on all to fight the Ebola disease so that ‘’we can continue to develop the country.’’
By Joseph S. Margai