By Precious D Freeman
The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), with support from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has identified with fire victims by donating 150 bags of 25kg rice and five mattresses.
The terrible incident that occured in Caldwell, New Georgia, during the early hours of Monday, September 25, 2023, claimed the lives of five persons, including the mother of the famous late Angel Togba who died few years ago.
Others that died were two grandchildren, and two of the late Angel Togba’s mother’s other children, while two survived and are currently in critical conditions.
Even though the actual cause of the fire is yet to be established, some residents attributed the cause of the fire to an electrical malfunction, which rapidly engulfed the house, leaving the inhabitants trapped and helpless.
Sympathizing with the bereaved family on Saturday at the ground of the incident, the Executive Director for NDMA, Henry O. Williams, said that the amount of items donated to them is not really the issue, because no quantity or amount of food or money will bring back the dead people.
According to him, their presence and donations were to show that the government is interested in the wellbeing of the citizens.
He added that taking care of disaster is not an easy task because it is very expensive, and that every day, the disaster agency receives information about victims of disaster.
“Well, even though what happened was a great tragedy, because losing five family members in a day is not a small thing, but we have to be grateful in Liberia because the disaster that happen in other countries cannot be compared to Liberia,” he said.
ED Williams explained that his agency is expected to put mechanisms in place called ‘loss and damage’, which will be done during the recovery period, adding that all of the affected people will give the agency the value of their damaged properties so that when they are rendering help to them, they will know the total cost of the loss and damage.
“This little we have brought, we hope that you people manage it as time goes by; if there are more to bring, we will also bring them to you,” he promised.
He added that the situation is very pitiful and prayed that God console the family, including the survivors.
Speaking on behalf of the bereaved family, the son of the late Angel Togba’s mother, Benedict Togba, appreciated the NDMA and the government at large for identifying with them.
According to him, no one can question the work of the Lord, adding that if it’s God’s doing, then let his will be done, and also prayed that the other family members will be able to overcome the trauma.
“This is a real tragedy for us, we have tried to wrap our thoughts around it but it’s difficult for us, though our hearts are grieving and heavy in our spirit, but we still have to commend the NDMA and the government in general for identifying with us in such difficult time,” he said.
Mr. Togba promised that the items brought will be used for the intended purpose, and also promised to inform all of the other family members that are not in town about the items that were given.
“This tragedy is beyond our understanding and not something we can comprehend, we tried the best way but we couldn’t help, it was not easy. We have been seeing fire disasters in other areas in Liberia, but this was very different because it was dark and demonic,” he said.
He continued that when something is natural, it is known, but whatever the case is, they give it to God and His will should be done.
Meanwhile, several other fire victims from different communities also benefited from NDMA on Friday.
Those communities include 72nd community, Duazon, Ricks Community, 2nd street, Red Hill Field, and Kesselly Boulevard.
Other communities that benefited include Gaye town, 12th street, GSA road, Barnersville, and Bible College.
These communities benefited 115 bags of 25kg rice, 12 food kits, and 26 mattresses.
All of the beneficiaries appreciated the Agency and the government at large for their continuous collaboration in making sure that they are recognized.