Following the terrible tragedy that occurred in Freetown on 5th November, 2021, when a fuel tanker exploded claiming 115 victims, I’ve been approached by a number of people asking how they can help. I’ve therefore set up a Just Giving page to raise money to provide support to the survivors and the families of those who lost their lives. You can donate here.
On the 5th November 2021, 115 people lost their lives when a fuel tanker exploded in Freetown, as yet another tragedy struck Sierra Leone.
There are harrowing stories emerging from Freetown. The explosion is reported to have claimed the lives of at least 115 people and left many other casualties suffering from severe burns following the explosion.
The country’s poorly-funded hospitals and healthcare system will find it difficult to adequately treat the injured. There isn’t a well-equipped burns unit. Despite their best efforts, the Fire and Rescue Service will no doubt have struggled with the emergency response due to a lack of equipment and training.
This tragedy was the consequence of Sierra Leone’s extreme poverty. Following the collision, people were trying to syphon fuel from the tanker, and the whole neighbourhood – hundreds of men, women and children – had gathered around to watch before it exploded.
With around 60% of the population living below the national poverty line and 70% youth unemployment, it is not hard to see why this tragedy happened. This accident has affected the most vulnerable people in the community. The stories I am hearing are both harrowing and heartbreaking. Lives lost, lives changed forever. A country simply unable to cope. Emergency services unable to adequately respond.
Over 700 million people in our world currently live in extreme poverty. Poverty affects every aspect of a person’s life and holds back human potential. Poverty negatively impacts life in so many ways. Sadly global poverty is set for the first increase since 1998 due to COVID-19.
Words cannot express how saddening this latest loss of life is, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families in Sierra Leone.
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