Sierra Leone: Landslide and Floods Situation Update no.5, 22 August 2017

This report is produced by UNDAC team in collaboration with the UN Resident Coordinator Office in Sierra Leone and humanitarian partners. An emergency state was declared by Sierra Leone following floods and landslides leaving hundreds of people dead and destroyed thousands of homes on 14 August.

Situation overview

According to government figures, a total of 493 victims have been buried. The bulk of funerals took place during the first four days following the landslide. Reports from various sources indicate that hundreds are still missing but this figure is by no means verified. Substantiated numbers remain scarce since households’ numbers per demolished unit is uncertain. Excavation of bodies to be discontinued and the area will be demarcated for a memorial.

Rain are continuing as expected at this time of the year but no further flooding or damage has been reported in the last 5 days. Further assessments to date have not suggested any specific risk of additional landslides, and that the two debris flows reported on the other side of Sugar Loaf hill do not pose a threat to populations.

ONS list 5905 individuals (1247 households) in five communities as being directly affected by flood or landslide affected areas, referring to the following categorization:

• Survivors whose homes have been rendered either temporarily or permanently uninhabitable

• Households who have lost income generating member(s)

• Those injured because of disaster (all categories also include consideration for vulnerable groups)

There are three identified holding centres (IDPs sites) in Regent, Kamayama and in town.
The most vulnerable areas are Regent and Kamayama, directly affected by the landslide, other areas mainly affected by flooding. The Sierra Leone Government has decided to relocate IDPs from Regent to a safer environment at Old School compound in Hill Valley (about 5km away). School start is delayed by one week to second week of September due to the emergency. Registration of people in disaster-prone areas needs to consider long-term planning as well.

There are challenges in coordinated reporting from the five Incident Coordination Centres (ICC) set up close to affected communities, however steps are taken by the Office of National Security (ONS) with support from UNDAC and partners to address these. WFP is supporting the Registration Pillar Lead Ministry of Social Welfare, Women Gender and Children’s Affairs to digitize beneficiary registration and verify registrants with support from local community leaders.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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