Freetown (Agenzia Fides) - Mobilization of the Catholic Church in West Africa to help the population of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, affected by the tragedy that occurred in the night between 13 and 14 August, when a mudslide struck the village of Regent (see Fides 21/8/2017). According to the latest toll, the victims are more than a thousand.
"This is another tragedy for a Country that has yet to recover from the disaster of the Ebola epidemic", said Fr. Chukwuyenum Afiawari, at the head of the northwestern Jesuit province of Africa (whose territory includes Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Gambia), who has launched a fundraiser to start the long-term reconstruction of the devastated areas.
"In responding to immediate needs, we must also keep an eye on and begin planning long-term reconstruction efforts", said Fr. Chukwuyenum Afiawari. "We appeal to all of our Jesuit confreres, communities, and institutions of our entire society, our mission-collaborators, friends and benefactors, and all people of good will so they join this noble cause while we work to bring emergency relief", said Fr. Afiawari.
Don Alphonse Seck, coordinator of Caritas groups in West Africa, stressed that "the Caritas of all fifteen member states have confirmed that they will help support Sierra Leone's authorities" to tackle the consequences of the disaster. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 29/8/2017)