Needless loss of lives in Freetown, Sierra Leone
In a somber video posted to social media by Sierra Network Salone, Victor Mengot addressed the latest man-made disaster in Freetown late on Friday.
"We know that accidents do occur," Mengot said, "but as Sierra Leoneans pray for the victims the nation must also be aware that it is not an isolated incident."
Mengot said he has seen similar disasters in Kenya, Nigeria, and several other countries.
"Transporting hazardous cargo is not an easy business," he said. "We must make sure they are transported safely and by qualified people."
Originally an industrial zone, the Wellington area has now become a mixed settlement with shops and a lot of people, making it difficult to respond to a disaster, Mengot noted.
"While we mourn the loss of our citizens, we call upon the oil companies, the government of Sierra Leone, and our citizens, so that when accidents occur they don't rush to the scene to be onlookers," Mengot said. "We need proper public education so that when these incidents occur we know that safety is paramount."
Standards and regulations are key, Mengot added. As are the institutions that are responsible for regulating transport and enforcing the law.
Take a listen to Victor Mengot, transport and logistics expert