Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Floods Appeal No. 05EA018 Final Report

Situation Report
Originally published
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The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 185 countries.

In Brief

Final report; Period covered: 15 September to 14 January 2006; Final appeal coverage: 49%.

Appeal history:

- Launched on 15 September 2005 - - for CHF 235,000 (USD 187,517 or EUR 149,160) to assist 7,000 beneficiaries for four months.

- Operations Update no. 1 - - dated 22 December 2005.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated CHF 100,000.

This operation was aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies. · Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Background and summary

In August 2005, torrential rains caused floods in Pujehun District, south of Sierra Leone, affecting 9 of the 12 chiefdoms (36 villages and communities). The damage to the already poor infrastructure, residential buildings and agricultural land was extensive; several acres of farmland and kilometres of roads were washed away, isolating some of the villages. Hundreds of houses were destroyed; some were submerged, leaving over 15,000 people homeless. Some families lost all their belongings, including their food reserves. In many villages, latrines and wells were contaminated. Some of the people who lost their homes were accommodated temporarily by their relatives, friends or neighbours, while others were stranded without shelter. The capacity of the local population was overwhelmed by this disaster, and the government of Sierra Leone officially requested intervention from the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS) and the Federation delegation in Freetown.

With funds accessed from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) and contributions from partners national societies (PNSs) such as the Swedish and Canadian Red Cross societies, the SLRCS responded immediately by mobilizing its volunteers to help the affected populations. Most objectives of the Red Cross emergency operation were achieved. Extensive experience of the SLRCS in disaster response as well as the dedication and professionalism of its staff and volunteers came into play. The action was well coordinated both within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and with non-Movement actors who responded to the government's call.

The floods operation highlighted the strengths of the SLRCS; its presence and immediate access to the communities was acknowledged by all in-country partners. The confidence in the abilities of the national society (NS) was manifested in the decision of the non-governmental organizations coordination group to request the SLRCS to take the lead in relief distributions in the disaster-affected areas. The Red Cross volunteer base became a unique force for many external institutions. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation, for example, engaged them in their health and hygiene promotion efforts.

The emergency needs of the affected population have not all been met or addressed especially in the areas of water and sanitation (WatSan), food, agriculture and rehabilitation of shelters, irrespective of the Red Cross advocacy efforts. However, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) supported the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in the provision of chlorination materials for the treatment of flood contaminated water wells mainly in Gbondapi, Taninahun, Karlu, Suawo and Gobaru. In addition, the World Food Programme (WFP) provided food items - mainly cereals and cooking oil - and Action Aid, in collaboration with Forum for African Women Educationalist (FAWE), gave some non-food items (NFIs), including used clothing to complement Red Cross relief efforts. However, not everybody from the affected population received this assistance and this posed a considerable challenge for them in the relief and rehabilitation phase.

In the post-emergency phase, Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has constructed 51 houses for families in Suawo. Considering the fact that farmers in these communities are merely subsistent farmers, due to the destruction of several acres of farmlands by the floods, there is bound to be hunger in the seasons ahead and an increase in the percentage of malnutrition among children. Efforts by the Red Cross are still on-going, engendering future interventions by other partners in key sectors requiring medium and long-term assistance.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Sierra Leone: Arthur de Winton Cummings, Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, Freetown; Email:; Phone: +232.; Fax: +

In Sierra Leone: Momodou Lamin Fye, Head of Delegation of the Federation Secretariat in Sierra Leone, Freetown; Email:; Phone: +; Fax: +

In Senegal: Alasan Senghore, Federation Head of West and Central Africa Regional Delegation, Dakar; Email:; Phone: +221.869.36.41; Fax: +221. 860.20.02.

In Geneva: Madeleine Lundberg, Federation Regional Officer for West and Central Africa, Africa Dept.; Email:; Phone: +41.22.730.43.35; Fax: +41.22.733.03.95

For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at

Full report (pdf* format - 105.8 KB)