Welthungerhilfe is helping local authorities in Sierra Leone in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus. Besides Liberia, Sierra Leone has been hardest hit by the epidemic that has so far claimed more than 900 lives.
In Bo, the second-largest city in the West African country, municipal authorities receive assistance with extensive awareness raising campaigns and measures for better hygiene around public buildings. Last week, the government of Sierra Leone announced a national state of emergency and called on local provinces to prepare emergency plans. The city of Bo is the first city in the country to implement concrete measures to protect the population.
"The city administration explicitly asked for our assistance in providing the type of help we are offering as part of our current work. Comprehensive awareness among the population as to how individuals can protect themselves and how those who are infected should be treated is a decisive factor in the fight against Ebola. We not only want to protect our local employees but also help the local government to raise awareness for the disease. Besides medical help for those who have been infected, awareness is an important factor in stemming the tide of the disease," says Jochen Moninger, Country Director for Welthungerhilfe in Sierra Leone.
In the coming weeks, awareness raising programmes will be broadcast over all radio stations, and employees working in government offices will be trained. In addition, hand-washing facilities will be installed in all key public buildings, such as mosques and churches.
Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organisations in Germany; politically independent and non-denominational. It is fighting for ‘Zero Hunger by 2030’. Since its establishment, more than 8,500 overseas projects in 70 countries have been supported with 3.27 billion euros. Welthungerhilfe works on the basic principle of help for self-help: from rapid disaster relief to reconstruction and long-term development cooperation projects with national and international partner organisations.