22 August 2017

Sierra Leone: Statement By His Excellency President Ernest Koroma At the Dignified Burial of the Victims of the Flooding and Landslides of 14 August, 2017

My fellow compatriots, we have come here together in grief to pay our last respects to our loved ones, our neighbours, our friends and to our colleagues.

We have come to comfort and to reassure the bereaved families that they are not alone in this difficult moment. We have come together to share the agony inflicted upon our nation by those pitiless floods and ferocious mudslides.

This is another painful episode in our nation's history; hundreds of our unsuspecting compatriots were swept away from their sleep onto untimely deaths. They all had their plans for the next day; they had their hopes and aspirations for a bright future like the six innocent children who went to study in the home of one of their brightest colleagues; like the young man who was due to get married tomorrow; like the husband who had worked so hard to get his family a new home and had just moved them in. These heart breaking accounts and many more are as painful as they can get and have badly shaken our beloved nation.

We will bury our loved ones but we will not bury our hopes. We will not bury our resolve because we believe our Lord is on our side and our God will give us the strength to accept this loss. And like the resilient people we always are, we will rise above this tragedy and begin once again the process of moving our great nation forward.

As we mourn, let me assure you that we will do all we can to support the bereaved families and the injured; we will continue to stand by you and share in your grief and help you to cope with this trauma and depression.

May God have mercy on the souls departed and may He grant them eternal rest!

Sierra Leone

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