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General News of Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

GIPC gets GHC500,000 in pledges for Sierra Leone disaster victims

The Ghana Investment Promotion Council has said, it is collecting at least GHC500,000 in pledges from Ghanaians moved by the tragic disaster in Sierra Leone, a country mourning the death of about 400 in a mudslide.

The Chief Executive, Yoofi Grant, told Joy FM's Super Morning Show, the Council was contacted by the Foreign Affairs Ministry last Monday to help raise money from corporate Ghana.

"We engaged and it was amazing because in an hour, I just called a couple of people and they had pledges of up to half a million already made," he said and explained, the council is using social media to reach out further.

He said the pledges are part of several others the Council has received, since the call for help rung out last week.

Ghana's Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia visited Sierra Leone last week Saturday to present relief items which government says is valued at $1million.

"I have been getting all these calls..some from Sunyani..they want to help," he said on Joy FM Super Morning Show Wednesday.

In addition to financial support, he said corporate Ghana is also responding with consumables. He mentioned pharmaceutical company, Ernest Chemists, which drove in a truckload of 40 boxes of medicines.

Kasapreko has also donated several boxes of mineral water and energy drinks which were sent to the airforce base in Accra.

The Council, which is responsible for attracting investment into the country explained, its mandate does not stop it from extending humanitarian support in situations such as Sierra Leone.

He said humanitarian support is everybody's business and urged Ghanaians to step up their support for Sierra Leone.

He, however, stressed, "we are not forcing the hand of anybody".

The Sugar Loaf Mountain, an area in the capital Freetown, was the hardest hit in the disaster last week Monday. The flood and mudslide washed away lives. People were buried alive circa 05:45 on Monday morning while the people were beginning to rise from their bed.

A torrent of water, mud and rocks hurtling down the valley, also crushing houses in two other areas: Kamayama and Kaningo, according to a BBC report.

The country's President, Ernest Bai Koroma, hours after the devastation, said the situation “was overwhelming us”.

“We need urgent support now,” he said.