Sierra Leone: Landslide and Floods Situation Update no.8, 31 August 2017

This update is produced by the UNDAC team in collaboration with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Sierra Leone, liaising with the Office of National Security and humanitarian partners.

Situation overview

Officials in Guinea have confirmed earlier this week that 19 bodies were found at sea and on the shores of Conakry. They are almost certain to be related to the landslide on the 14 August. They have been buried in Conakry in presence of Sierra Leone Embassy staff. The total number of confirmed deaths is slightly above 500 and the number of missing persons at 810 (although many of those are likely to be among the 500 deaths and unidentified).

The most vulnerable areas are still Regent and Kamayama, as directly affected by the landslide. However the focus should also shift to other affected areas such Culvert where standard of shelter for displaced people is very low and this population should be considered as a priority. Those families more recently affected by flash floods in Kroo Bay have not received assistance so far. The voluntary relocation of IDPs has started to Old Skool at Hill station following the verified registry of affected households. Criteria for the relocation include that host family shelter options must be proven as unviable opportunities. Secondly, individuals discharged from hospitals and clinics are also considered a priority.

As of 31 August, 1,616 households (93 percent) have been verified. The results show that a total of 5,951 people reported being affected by the mudslide and floods, of which 969 are children under the age of five and 393 are pregnant and nursing women. Disabled people numbered 60, and persons with chronic illness only amounted to 12. Overall, less than half of the heads of household (42 percent) have returned to their livelihood activity following the disaster. Half of affected households would like to be relocated to a rented place in Freetown, over one-quarter (28 percent) would like to reside in a shelter and 12 percent would like to move to a rented place outside of Freetown. Although a significant majority of households do not want to return to their dwelling, the largest number of respondents (3 percent) that expressed desire to return home were located in Regent.

Government officials and partners are also actively preparing for the beginning of the school year. A number of schools need a complete clean up and rehabilitation; several hundreds of school children directly affected by the disaster need uniforms, books and stationary as well as support for school fees.
The World Bank is leading a Damage and Loss Assessment (DaLA) initiative in cooperation with UNCT, GoSL, Geologist and Engineers and private sector operators. The assessment is looking at Infrastructure, social sectors, productive sectors and cross-cutting issues hereunder environment and risk analysis.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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