Sierra Leone: Flash Update no.3 OCHA West & Central Africa, 17 August 2017

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 17 Aug 2017

Situation overview

The Government and the UN system through the Resident Coordinator have requested international support. A deployment of a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team should take place within 48 hours to support the ongoing assessments, coordination and reporting efforts.

• Relief effort are stepping up and more aid is coming. The NGO Consortium Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) has indicated that, among its member organisations, ActionAid, IFRC, Oxfam, World Vision,
Christian Aid and Care International have started responding to the most pressing needs.

• So far, 409 dead bodies were removed from the rubbles across the 13 impacted communities and the number may still rise. UNODC has set up a joint team composed of forensics, scientific police and a specialized rescue expert unit with trained dogs to lend support to search and rescue efforts, as well as recovery and identification of bodies.

• Burial of unidentified bodies has begun Thursday, 17 August, in Waterloo in the outskirt of Freetown and a total of 300 bodies were buried so far. A seven-day mourning period starting 16 August was announced on 15 August.

• Together with UNOPS, UNDP has engaged the Environmental Protection Agency to development a prevention roadmap that includes immediate evacuation planning in areas that seem prone to a recurrence of the slide, develop coordinated messaging on prevention, and undertake an in-depth study on the cause of the slide, which many say is the first in 45 years in the country. UNOPS with support from UNDP is currently undertaking a geo-mapping exercise and UNDP is in discussion to field a geologist to help with the analysis.

• UNFPA adapted the rapid EmONC assessment tool to better understand the needs of the health facilities in the affected areas to determine gaps in EmONC and assess the gaps in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services family planning, adolescent youth friendly health services and Gender Based Violence (GBV) services.

• UN Women is co-facilitating a gender analysis of primary and secondary data provided on survivors by the response agencies.

Priority needs

For survivors of the landslide and people affected by the floods:

  • Health care for injured survivors - Water, prevention of diseases, hygiene

  • Essential household utensils and other non-food items

  • Sleeping mats, blankets and pillows for those in shelters and in host families

  • Reducing protection risks, notably risks related to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and specific risks faced by children.

Body management, removal of debris, clear water ways and drainage.
Private sector engagement in emergency relief is critical to enable the private sector to bring necessary technical expertise and add capacity in low-resourced sites.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.