Sierra Leone: Mudslides - Aug 2017
Three days of heavy rains triggered flash floods and a massive landslide in and around the capital Freetown on 14 August. The most severe disaster occurred in Regent and Lumley districts with a massive 6 kilometres mudslide submerging and wiping out over 300 houses along the banks of the Juba river. Flash floods also affected at least four other communities in other parts of Freetown.(OCHA, 15 Aug 2017)
The IFRC has...released more than [CHF]270,000...from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to bolster initial search and rescue and recovery efforts. These emergency funds will enable volunteers to assist more than 9,000 people with search and rescue, first aid, health care, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion and emergency food. (IFRC, 15 Aug 2017)
At least 500 bodies have been recovered. However, several hundreds are still missing, An estimated 5,900 or more people are believed to have lost their homes or have been directly impacted and are in immediate need of emergency assistance and shelter. Nine response pillars are coordinating their response efforts with the Office of National Security who has the overall lead. Humanitarian partners are providing emergency WASH, health, shelter and protection assistance to those in temporary holding centres and those in host families. (OCHA/UNORC, 22 Aug 2017)
On the night between...26 [and] 27 August, new flooding appeared in downtown Freetown, and has flooded a health centre, the bridge and a school at Kroo Bay. One person is reported dead and two injured. The WHO team has assessed the damage to Kroo Bay Health Facility where flooding waters destroyed health records, drugs and supplies, mosquito net stock piles and medical equipment. (OCHA/UNORC, 29 Aug 2017)
As of 31 August, the total number of confirmed deaths is slightly above 500 and the number of missing persons at 810. With 616 households (93 percent) verified, the results show that a total of 5,951 people reported being affected by the mudslide and floods, of which 969 are children under the age of five and 393 are pregnant and nursing women. (UNDAC/UNORC, 31 Aug 2017)
As of 5 September, the distributions of food and non-food items have reached over 85% of flood and landslide affected people. (UNDAC/UNORC, 5 Sep 2017)
Following emergency response to the landslide and floods in and around Freetown on 14 August 2017, the UN system in Sierra Leone is now supporting national recovery. The UN Country Team has designated UNDP and the World Bank as co-leads of the effort. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has underscored that a national recovery strategy should address both the needs of those directly affected, and a plan to tackle the longer-term issues including environmental; climate and disaster risks; and settlement and urban development. (UNDP/UNORC, 12 Sep 2017)
Sierra Leone’s first ever Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) campaign kicked off on 15 September. The emergency campaign targets communities affected by Western Area’s recent floods and landslides. WHO, UNICEF, Gavi, UKaid, MSF and other health partners are working with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to implement the campaign, which aims to reach a total of 500,000 people. (Gov't of Sierra Leone/UNICEF/WHO, 15 Sep 2017)
As of 10 October, the UN system in Sierra Leone continues to support national recovery. In addition to addressing the urgent needs of those most affected, medium and long-term assessments and action plans have been put in place under national leadership to ensure risk mitigation and protect the people of Sierra Leone from future tragedy. (UNDP/UNORC, 10 Oct 2017)
FREETOWN, 15 September 2017 – As Sierra Leone recovers from the recent deadly floods and mudslide in Freetown that killed over 500 people with many more still unaccounted for, 1,908 affected households will be directly supported with cash through mobile money transfers to help them meet their immediate needs.
This weekly bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 48 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
• Plague in Madagascar
• Undiagnosed acute jaundice syndrome in Ethiopia
• Humanitarian crisis in Nigeria
• Humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia
• Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan
• Hepatitis E in Chad
• Malaria in Burundi
Regent, SIERRA LEONE – “I saw the rocks from the hill fly up into the air,” Martha Kamara, 28, told UNFPA, describing the floods and landslides that devastated 13 areas in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, last month.
Ms. Kamara is eight months pregnant from the Motormeh Community in Regent. She and two of her daughters, ages 9 and 5, survived the disaster. But her three-year-old daughter and brother both died.
“When the rescue team pulled my brother out from the mud, they pulled out his unclothed corpse and some of his body parts,” Ms. Kamara said.
The Buddhist Tzu Chi Compassion Relief Foundation, which has been active in providing humanitarian support to vulnerable Sierra Leoneans since the outbreak of the 2014 Ebola virus in West Africa, responded with compassionate care to survivors of the August 14 deadly flooding and landslide that left hundreds of people dead and missing.
IOM has finalized the installation of floor pallets in all 50 tents in Juba Barrack transit site. All tents are now occupied by households displaced by the floods and subsequent mudslides.
IOM has completed the setup of temporary drainage and a communal kitchen in the Juba Barrack transit site. A extension to the medical clinic and a shaded area are being constructed.
Sia Twiyor* survived the 14 August mudslides in Freetown but lost 16 members of her family in the disaster including her husband, brothers and sisters. Some of them had come to spend the school holidays with her. As she struggles to cope, Sia continues to cry, and has suffered countless sleepless nights since the incident occurred.
This weekly update is produced by UNDP in collaboration with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Sierra Leone, liaising with the Office of National Security and development partners.
Following emergency response to the landslide and floods in and around Freetown on 14 August 2017, the UN system in Sierra Leone is now supporting national recovery. The UN Country Team has designated UNDP and the World Bank as co-leads of the effort.
On 14 August 2017, the capital of Sierra Leone was hit by a mudslide and flash floods due to torrential rainfalls. The mudslide, which occurred in the Regent community of Freetown, left hundreds of houses buried under rubble with around 500 people dead, 600 declared missing and other 6,000 affected (Office of National Security data).
4 weeks since events of 14th August 2017, it is important to review the response to date and to agree the plan for the response going forward
Overview of the planning process and update on the GoSL response plan
Informed by recent verification of registered affected persons
Overall road map and pillar specific key interventions, related risks and mitigating strategies
Total budget obtained from existing pillars
Restructuring of pillar architecture
This weekly bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 45 events in the region. This week’s edition also covers key ongoing events, including:
• Cholera in Borno State, Nigeria
• Necrotising cellulitis/fasciitis in São Tomé and Príncipe
• Humanitarian crisis in the Central Africa Republic
• Cholera in the United Republic of Tanzania
• Cholera in Chad
• Dengue fever in Côte d’Ivoire.
Despite recent decreases in rainfall, torrential rains have caused flooding across sub-Saharan Africa
Africa Weather Hazards
Since early August, above-average seasonal rainfall caused flooding in some areas. With well above-average moisture conditions, additional rain in September may trigger flooding in parts of Senegal,
The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.
UNICEF and partners continue their efforts to support the recovery of victims in this second phase of the response.
“As the convoy of corpses moved along the streets of Freetown, the entire city was in tears.”
In the aftermath of severe flash flooding and mudslides that struck the capital of Sierra Leone on 14 August, the director of Caritas Sierra Leone, Edward John Bull, has sent out a plea for prayers and for material assistance. Nearly 500 people died in the twin disaster, including more than a hundred children, and another 600 are missing presumed dead. It is estimated that 20,000 people have been displaced, a quarter of whom are children.
18th August, 2017, The Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, has responded to the unfortunate mudslide disaster that has claimed hundreds of lives in Sierra Leone. JICA commences the implementation of a disaster relief operation that will ensure that relief items such as 100pcs of tents, 6,395pcs of blankets, 1,320pcs of sleeping pads, 163 sheets of plastic sheets, 30 units of water purifiers and 1,500pcs of portable jerry cans are distributed across affected regions of the country.
A mudslide devastated the capital, Freetown, three weeks ago. Life is slowly returning to normal, but residents of the areas most affected are still coming to terms with what happened, as Olivia Acland reports.
In Kamayama, a community in Freetown built on and around steep riverbanks, life looked like it was slowly getting back to normal. Two local football teams were battling it out on a dry mud pitch. A hundred spectators stood by, watching keenly.
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries with Don Bosco Fambul, one of Sierra Leone’s leading child-welfare organizations in Freetown, have been actively responding with relief efforts for those affected by recent flooding that occurred on Aug. 14. Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, lies between the mountains and the sea. The intense rain caused a mudslide on Mount Sugar Loaf in the Regent District on the outskirts of Freetown. The mudslide occurred at 6 a.m. when most of the community residents were still sleeping—leaving them more vulnerable to the rising waters.
IOM distributed Non Food Items (NFIs) to 150 flood affected households in Mountain Cut. This is in addition to 167 NFI kits that had been distributed to flood affected households in Dwazark and Wellington.
IOM set up 50 tents, donated by JICA to the Government of Sierra Leone, in Juba Barracks, finalized drainage and set up handwashing stations. Partners installed water tanks, latrines and shower facilities.
Three weeks on from the landslide and initial flooding, most pillars are operational and the Office of National Security (ONS) Situation Room collates information from the two temporary shelters sites and six Incident Response Centres (IRCs) daily. The second shelter site, Juba Barracks, is still empty ten days after the initial set-up and the slow pace of construction is worrying.
By Inna Lazareva
YAOUNDE, Sept 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Experience gained taming West Africa's Ebola outbreak is helping Sierra Leone deal with its recent mudslide disaster, but urgent action is needed to prevent future catastrophes, experts say.
As more bodies are unearthed after the mid-August mountain collapse in Regent on the outskirts of the capital Freetown, thousands of people who lost their homes require emergency accommodation and longer-term help to recover, aid workers say.