From Mat to Mattress – many benefit from Plan’s Ebola Response in Liberia

(Written by Moses Brown)50 year-old Wakeuleu Duo is part of a huge exodus of Ivorian refugees who fled her country during the civil war in Ivory Coast.

She, along with 12 family members lives in a make-shift shelter built with mud and sticks at the Bahn Refugee camp in Nimba County, northern Liberia.

Still trying to cope with the new life as a refugee – after she lost everything back home, Ms. Duo and 26 other refugees were badly hit by another tragedy. This time it is not gun-war; it’s the fastest killer disease – Ebola.

Wakeuleu and 26 others were quarantined after one Oliver Kuah who is believed to have contracted the virus came to his relatives in the camp for treatment.

Kuah was later transferred to the Ganta Ebola Treatment Unit, but later died.

This was the best time for Wakeuleu and the rest who successfully completed their 21 days quarantined period as a white four-door pick-up with Plan-International Liberia’s sticker arrived in the camp; stocked with 40 25kg ‘Bellaluna’ rice.

Plan-International Liberia has come in the camp to complete distribution of food and non-food items to those refugees quarantined after they made some contacts with an Ebola confirmed patient.

“This is the best moment in my entire life. I have slept on the floor for the past three (3) years since we moved in this camp as refuges” Ms. Duo lamented.

Ms. Duo is excited to have received three mattresses from Plan and today she’s receiving two bags of rice 25kg each from the international charity, Plan.

Plan Nimba County office had donated some mattresses, eating bowls, powered milk, soaps, cocoa tea, and other sanitary kits to Wakeuleeu and others, as part of the organization’s ongoing response to the Ebola crisis that has ravaged the country.

“WFP food ration given to us is not enough for the number of children we have”, 50 year-old Wakeuleu explained.

She continued “I was sleeping on the bed ground prior to this donation. So I am very grateful to Plan for this kind of support and I want it to continue”, Madam Duo speaks through and an interpreter in our local Yakuba language.

Bahn Refugee Camp is 70 kilometers from the Buotuo-Loguato Border separating Liberia and the Ivory Coast.

There are 5315 refugees currently at the camp with 487 benefiting from Plan food and non-food items donations.

Plan International Liberia Country Director Oumarou Koala says this will help affected families restart life and support their well being.

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