- The death toll from the devastating floods has climbed to more than 400 people with hundreds still missing.
- Many homes are now without a water supply due to damage to a reservoir near Regent, according to the Guma Valley Water Company.
- Sierra Leone ranked 179th out of 188 countries on the UN Development Programme’s 2016 Human Development Index.
On August 14th 2017, after three days of torrential rain, Sierra Leone was devastated by floods. A catastrophic landslide deposited tons of wet, suffocating mud on the outskirts of the capital, Freetown.
Because the landslide occurred at 6am local time, it caught many residents in their homes, some still in their beds. As the homes were swept away, hundreds drowned.
Rescue operations were put in place immediately but were hampered by the continuing heavy downpours, which overwhelmed the drainage systems, allowing rivers to churn along Freetown’s streets.
The threat of disease is everywhere. With so many dead bodies, there is nowhere to store them, and hundreds just lie on the floors of morgues and hospitals, with all the dangers that portends. Water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid are also a major concern.
And still the rains come, and still the waters rise.
Coming so soon after the Ebola epidemic, which all but destroyed the country’s economy, this disaster is the final straw. Not only have people lost their homes and families, but also their livelihoods, as many of the most affected people were market traders.
World In Need’s representatives in Sierra Leone have been doing what they can to help. They visited Kaningo, one of the worst affected areas, where they found hundreds of men, women and children living in classrooms at the local school, their homes gone. They have no food, clothing or footwear, no nappies for their babies. In fact, they have nothing.
We will do what we can to help these people rebuild their lives. In the short term, we aim to provide them with the basic necessities: food, shelter, clothing, medications, baby supplies.
Longer term, our help will be needed to resettle the people, and to help them recover from this disaster.
We cannot do all of this without your help. Would you be willing to give, just a little, to help us help the people of Sierra Leone? Every pound we raise will help families recover, giving them hope for a future that, right now, looks bleak.
The people of Sierra Leone also need your prayers at this time. Please pray that the rains stop so that the clear up can begin in earnest. Pray also that the threat of disease passes, sparing this benighted country yet another blow. And please pray for our representatives, working so hard to help.
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