MEDICAL equipment and tools have been sent to Sierra Leone by volunteer James Fallah-Williams.
The 42-year-old started gathering donated tools and other equipment to send to the West African country suffering from the deadly Ebola virus.
Through the Fareham branch of the UK charity Practical Tools Initiative, James gathered more than 10 tonnes of tools which were packed up and sent to Sierra Leone.
He said he was shocked at how much he and other volunteers managed to gather.
‘When I first started the collection, I didn’t expect to send out anywhere near as much,’ he said.
‘People donated a lot of wheelchairs, cleaning products and containers, aprons and face masks as well as other medical equipment, different tools and even protective gear.
‘All of this stuff will help people in Sierra Leone rebuild their communities.
‘That is what the charity is all about – it helps deprived, post-war countries rebuild their communities and start economic rehabilitation.
‘The equipment and tools we have sent out there will help people whose family have been affected by Ebola.
‘Many of them are returning home since the outbreak to nothing and we want to help change that with this equipment.’
A shipment container was filled with the help of volunteers including Fareham MP Mark Hoban.
Hundreds of boxes were packed in the container and shipped out last week.
James, from Fareham, added: ‘We have had so much support from everyone.
‘People across the country have made donations but the community in Fareham and surrounding areas have also helped a lot.
‘Queen Alexandra Hospital and Southampton General Hospital donated a lot of medical equipment which will make a real difference to people in Sierra Leone.
‘It has been 12 years since the war and people are still suffering from that along with Ebola.’
The Sierra Leone Civil War started in 1991 and went on for 10 years.
The country was still suffering from the effects of the war when a state of emergency was announced in July last year following the deaths of 700 people from the Ebola virus.
To find out more about the work of Practical Tools Initiative, visit its website at practicaltoolsinitiative.org.