As I'm sure you're all aware Sierra Leone is currently at the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak which is affecting West Africa. Sierra Leone is a desperately poor country, which is very badly equipped to handle this crisis - and we're all trying to help out in any way we can to reduce the impact of this horrible virus.
The locally based engineering company I work for in Freetown, Edward Davies and Associates (EDA), are constructing and distributing free handwashing stations throughout the city. They have been doing this using their own facilities, resources and personnel and without any gain to themselves.
The idea is simple. The handwash station essentially consists of a 20 litre covered water drum fixed with a tap, containing bleach, and a sticker encouraging people to wash their hands with a contact number for refills. Attached is a photo of one. The stations are distributed at locations throughout the city such as markets, bus stops, taxi ranks and in unplanned housing areas where people congregate. The buckets and bleach etc. are all locally purchased. Already over 200 stations have been provided in just a couple of days. This is an amazing effort and I'd like to help support it and keep it going. I'm appealing to you to get involved and make a donation towards making more of these free stations.
In spite of the poverty, prices here are relatively high for simple goods. Sadly thats life in Freetown - everything has to be imported... and this means basic sanitation measures can be too costly for the average person, who is often surviving on a couple of dollars a day. Our staff at Edward Davies are using local contacts to obtain the goods and negotiate on prices. If you would like to help us, please note, this is not a registered charity, this is an effort by local people who are doing what they can, with what little is available, to try to save their city and country from what could be a terrible, terrible disaster. And remember not only will this help with the fight against Ebola, this will also help provide people with basic sanitation measures reducing the likelihood of cholera outbreaks and other diseases which also sadly occur on an annual basis at this time of the year.
If you disagree with our efforts please be encouraged to contribute in another way to the NGOs who are on the ground here such as Save the Children, Goal, MSF, IRC or WHO to name a few, all of whom are working under very difficult conditions. However, if you would like to donate the price of a couple of pints of beer you will have provided a handwash station which could potentially save someone's life.
Thank you for reading this appeal, and for any contribution you would like to make.
- Brent Wiebe
- Anne CALLEN