Landslides and flooding in Sierra Leone
25 August 2017
Over one thousand people have been killed by mudslides and flooding on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, with thousands more being made homeless.
CAFOD has an office in Freetown and our staff and local partners are assessing the situation and responding.
Kayode Akintola, CAFOD’s Country Representative for Sierra Leone, sent us this report from Freetown:
"Things are really bad on the ground. Just a few minutes’ walk from our office a bridge has been submerged. There are dead bodies in the water and littering some of the streets, and houses are still under water.”
Although heavy rains were expected in Sierra Leone, given the time of year, the level of devastation caused by the rains and the landslides was not anticipated.
“CAFOD had been preparing for this emergency before it occurred but this is a particularly bad situation.
“We are carrying out assessments in various areas affected by the flood and working closely with other agencies to coordinate relief response efforts”, said Kayode Akintola.
“The immediate need of people affected are water and food, meanwhile thousands of families who have lost their homes need shelter, and there are also serious health concerns”.
CAFOD and its local partners, Street Child Sierra Leone and Caritas Freetown are distributing food and water to affected families and are also helping to prevent the spread of diseases by providing health, hygiene and sanitation support.
Efforts continue to rescue anyone who may have survived the landslides, however, the likelihood of finding further survivors is lessening.
"We are urgently working with the government and other agencies to respond and support families in great need," said Kayode Akintola.
"Our prayers are with those who have been affected by this tragedy.”