Liberia: Weah Identifies With Smythe Road Fire Victims

President Weah and entourage inspect the Smythe Road fire disaster scene as victims look on.

Barely three days after reaching out to dozens of fire victims in the Popo Beach community in New Kru Town, where he provided some emergency supplies and promised to rebuild homes of fire victims, President George Weah has promised to also relocate another group of fire victims in the Sinkor Old Road community.

According to an Executive Mansion release, on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, fire gutted a 19-bedroom zinc house on Smythe Road in the Old Road Community, leaving dozens of occupants homeless.

Moved by the horrifying story of the victims, President Weah on Thursday, April 11, 2019, visited the disaster scene to identify with the victims.

Shortly after a brief chat with the victims to familiarize himself with the extent of the tragedy, the President assured the victims of his government's support.

As he did during his visit to Popo Beach, Weah and entourage, flanked by the fire victims and other community dwellers, walked through the rubble of the burnt structure, where he expressed his deepest regrets about the fire incident. The President, meanwhile promised the 52 victims of government's determination to relocate them.

Amid applauses and songs of praises rendered by the victims and well-wishers, President Weah announced that the government, especially his office, would take charge of the situation as a way of showing care, love and support for the 19 family heads and their dependents, who have lost properties to the fire incident.

Since the burnt house was built on an alley, the President said, the victims would be given temporary shelters, while the government makes frantic efforts to relocate them on the Monrovia-Robertsfield highway.

According to the release, the President said his government is committed to addressing the needs of its people, especially those struck by disaster and are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

While the government wants to relocate the victims in new structures to be built later, the President said it would be up to the 19 family heads to decide their next moves. President Weah has further ordered the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs and relevant government agencies to work with the Smythe Road community leadership to ensure that the victims have immediate temporary shelters while the government is working out modalities for permanent shelters.

Meanwhile, latest information this newspaper received over the weekend is of another zinc structure having been gutted by fire reported on Bushrod Island, thus bringing to three, a number of places affected by fire in less than a week in Monrovia alone.

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