The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in
Sierra Leone reported that 969 children got hugely affected during the August 14, 2016 landslide and about 810 people got missing which many further argued that it was likely that they could be among the 502 death toll.
This update was 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.
“I was staying with my three Children including my wife and housemaid,” said 56 year old Ibrahim Conteh. He said that he lost his entire family but survived because he traveled to Makeni for a wedding ceremony at Sylvanus Street. “Immediately I heard about the natural disaster on radio I traveled to the Connaught mortuary in Freetown where corpses were transported for identification by their loved ones,” he said, adding that “I am a teacher but today I am homeless and those of us that survived are still languishing homeless.”
In an interview with one of the youth leaders at Mortomeh, Lamin Kargbo stated that five of the houses around them got destroyed by the landslide. He went further to say that at the National Stadium where all survivors were relocated, “I saw one of the survivors Abu Bakar Bah who said he went in search of his family members.”
Abu Baker was staying adjacent to us with his parents, Mohamed Bah (Father) and Bilikisu Bah (Mother).
In tears, I told Abu Bakar that “they are all gone including the five houses around our area.”
With tears running down his cheeks, he ran like a “mad dog” shouting “Neh Neh O Barbay O.” The rescue team from the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society ran to him to console him but he was still crying, rolling on the bare floor.
Abu Bakar was a pupil of the Government Services Secondary School who survived because he went out that night to study with other colleagues off from the Mortomeh vicinity. He has not been seen almost a year ago since that fatal incident (August 2017) which gripped the West Africa country, Sierra Leone. Apart from Abu Baker, all is not well for the survivors.Some are psychologically traumatized after being abandoned by either the Government or those InGOs or UN agencies.
Since that deadly incident, many Sierra Leoneans are scared and worried as we approaches the raining season.
In order to prevent reoccurrence, the current Mayor of Freetown City, Her Worship Yvonne Aki Sawyer has embarked on disaster prevention and management mechanism by engaging in massive cleaning exercise in East, Central and Western area of the country’s capital.
The most affected areas were Regent and Kamayama and those survivors are still not been taken cared of by the Government of Sierra Leone.
In similar vein, those families more affected by flash floods in Kroo Bay have not received assistance so far.
According to data at the www.unocha.org, a total of 5,951 people reported being affected by the mudslide and floods.
The World Bank led 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.
By Mohamed Koroma