Sierra Leone: Flash Update no.2 OCHA West & Central Africa, 16 August 2017

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 16 Aug 2017

Situation overview

• Heavy rain is still falling regularly over Freetown, making removal of debris and search for missing persons difficult. The risk of further landslides is not excluded and the Government, with the support of UNOPS, WFP and FAO, is conducting an analysis of at risk areas, most specifically a 2D and 3D mapping of the hills in Sugar Loaf neighbourhoods. The Government may recommend evacuation of additional areas, with the number of displaced people subsequently increasing.

• Two districts have been affected: Freetown (eastern and western outskirts) and Bo district.

• Registration of survivors continues and on 15 August a mass burial of 150 bodies was held. The IFRC estimates that over 600 people are still missing and over 100 people have been injured.

• Inter-agency rapid assessments conducted by 5 different teams in 16 communities on 15 August are indicating that around 1,100 households are directly affected (about 4,000 people). These are still preliminary figures to be confirmed by further assessments.

• UNICEF is closely monitoring the education situation, with schools due to open in two weeks. An assessment is seeking to identify the number of schools affected by the events.

Response efforts

• WFP food rations were distributed to 550 families on 16 August in Kamayamah, Juba Bridge, Kaningo, George Brook, Moutain Cut,
Kissi Brook and Wellington neighborhoods. On 15 August, 69 families in Sugar Loaf, Regent and Mortomeh communities had already received a two-week ration.

• Registration of affected households is taking place in collaboration with the Office of National Security (ONS), the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS), Save the Children, WFP, as well as community structures.

• UNDP is supporting the search and rescue efforts by providing tools and equipment as well as seconding a data analyst to ONS.

• The SLRCS has deployed volunteers to all affected sites to help in search and rescue efforts, transporting dead bodies, first aid to the injured people and psychosocial support to the bereaved families. 15 vehicles including 3 ambulances have been deployed to do transportation of affected people to evacuation sites. 5 pickup vans to transport dead bodies and 1 truck with body bags and protective gears for volunteers have been deployed so far.

• Humanitarian resources, such as generators and mortuary racks, that were kept at WFP's main logistics base in Port Loko, have been mobilized on behalf of other agencies to support the response.

• WASH supplies from UNICEF which were in stock in Freetown have also been made available, as well as some medical supplies. Body bags have been provided to Ministry of Health and Sanitation by UNICEF, MSF and the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society.

• UNICEF and implementing partners are also working to provide water supplies to affected communities, particularly in the temporary displacement centres in Regent and Lumley. Two water tanks and two water bladders have been set up, three mobile latrines were installed, 5,000 aquatabs were distributed as well as soap and buckets in these two temporary shelters. OXFAM is providing clean water and hygiene kits to help 2,000 households.

• UNICEF has distributed some waterproof tarpaulin covers in Regent and Lumley and IOM is also providing shelter equipment and supporting ONS coordination.

• Four registration centres for unaccompanied children have been established where affected families are being registered. Psychosocial support will also be offered in safe spaces in the two main displacement centres.

• UNFPA is assessing the needs in the health facilities in the affected areas in order to determine the gaps in providing sexual and reproductive health services, including maternal and neonatal health, family planning, adolescent youth friendly spaces and sexual and gender based violence services.

• UNWOMEN and UNAIDS are engaged in psychosocial support, under the lead of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs, and are supporting in the registration and sex disaggregation of data of affected persons.

• Save the Children is assessing the situation and activating its response.

• Concern Worldwide is supporting needs assessments and data collection.

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