OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Sierra Leone - Floods
This situation report is based on information received from the OCHA office in Sierra Leone.
1. Due to heavy rains in southern Sierra Leone from 13-14 August, nine out of twelve chiefdoms in the Pujehun district in the Southern Province were inundated by rising water levels of the Wanje and Moa Rivers. The affected region is about 300km south of Freetown. Heavy flooding destroyed many homes and affected thousands of villagers. It is difficult to give the exact estimates of the people affected as many of the villages continue to remain inaccessible as roads and bridges have been swept away. Wells have also been wiped out and there are concerns that the flooding could lead to the spread of waterborne diseases, especially cholera.
2. The Government has approached the UN for assistance for those affected by the floods.
3. The Sierra Leone Red Cross Society has responded by providing nonfood items. They are also assisting in the evacuation of populations from the affected areas.
4. The UNCT dispatched a team on 16 August to Pujehun to conduct a rapid assessment. Following this, an inter-agency mission, composed of UN agencies, government authorities and NGOs, was undertaken from 17-18 August in the six most affected chiefdoms in Pujehun district. Preliminary estimates from the mission show that about 3,000 people were affected. The mission also identified five priority areas for intervention: food, water and sanitation, non-food items, health, and shelter. To further assess the damage, an in-depth aerial survey assessment was conducted on 20 August in the Pujehun district, using an UNAMSIL helicopter.
5. The UNCT is meeting regularly to coordinate assistance efforts. UNICEF and WHO have supplied water containers, chlorine, washing soap, and essential drugs. WFP is making arrangements to provide food.
6. OCHA is in close contact with the UN Resident Coordinator's Office and will revert with further information, as it becomes available.
This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int
Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23/06 28
In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10
Ms. Janet Puhalovic, direct tel. +41-22-917
Ms. Federica D'Andreagiovanni, direct tel. +1 917-367 2236
(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel.
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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