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Forklifts to Sierra Leone to tackle Ebola crisis

Forklift trucks supplied by Jungheinrich UK Ltd have been flown to Sierra Leone as part of the UK Government’s response to the Ebola virus crisis.

The Department for International Development (DfID) acquired the trucks – a 7-tonne diesel-powered counterbalanced machine and two smaller 4-tonne diesel-powered counterbalanced vehicles from Jungheinrich’s DFG range – which will be used to transport the wide variety of items required to establish the infrastructure that is urgently required to help tackle the Ebola outbreak.

The 7-tonne truck was fitted with extended forks to help manoeuvre large and awkwardly shaped loads safely and efficiently.

The forklifts were made ready and supplied to be flown to West Africa on a transport plane from East Midlands Airport within a week of the DfID’s approach to Jungheinrich.

A spokesman for the DFiD’s procurement office, praised the speed at which Jungheinrich was able to respond to his organisation’s initial enquiry.

The spokesman said: “Jungheinrich’s proactive approach to meeting our needs was greatly appreciated. In this situation every minute counts and we would not have been able to achieve what we did in such a short timeframe without the sort of attitude shown by Jungheinrich.”

The UK continues to lead the international response in Sierra Leone and has so far committed £125 million to tackle Ebola. This includes supporting 700 treatment beds to help up to 8,800 patients over six months, as well as shoring up the country’s stretched public health services to help contain the disease.

In addition, RFA Argus and three Merlin helicopters have been deployed to deliver transportation and logistical support for medical teams and aid experts working in the country.

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