Once again Sierra Leone is battling torrential rains with fears of impending mudslides that could bring as much devastation, if not more to poverty-ridden areas previously hit in 2017. Flash flooding in Freetown is affecting thousands with five deaths reported thus far.
Our partner, Caritas-Freetown, have assigned teams to areas hit hardest by the storms. They have been working vigorously on the frontlines giving their all to provide immediate relief and care for flood victims. Father Peter Konteh reported that “many have become homeless and we are very much overwhelmed at the moment.”
The rains began in early August and since that time we have been inundated with emails full of desperation; “Portee is flooded, Abdulai Lane is underwater…three killed at Wellington Bottom Oku, two young boys disappeared, suspected dead.” Our in-country manager, Ishmeal Charles expressed his fears to us and the feeling as though the rain would never stop; “the rains were so heavy it was scary and causing me to shake.”
Unfortunately, the rains continue to fall. The Meteorological Agency of Sierra Leone has warned of further heavy rains over the next two months stating that this may be one of the highest rainfalls in years. Nearly 100 homes have been destroyed and families displaced, and those numbers continue to climb. HealeyIRF and Caritas Freetown have been providing necessities and warm meals for the displaced families, something very much needed. However, communities are in desperate need of clean, dry clothes, food and temporary shelter.
Cleaning materials, linens, towels and blankets are in demand for those who have suffered damage to the interior of their homes. Although our warehouse was fully stocked, due to overwhelming requests we are rapidly falling short of such critical supplies. “These are simple items, but they will mean a lot to the families who receive them as they may be the only possessions they have as they start to rebuild their lives” noted Fr. Peter.
Your donation will send immediate help to Sierra Leone, enabling us to restock and continue distributions, in turn helping those families who have already lost so much while providing aid for new victims during the remainder of this very long, very arduous rainy season. Please know 100% of your contribution will go directly to purchase the abovementioned needed items and we ask you to remember this, “While natural disasters capture headlines and national attention short-term, the work of recovery and rebuilding is long-term.”