By Alison Balfe
An estimated 6,000 people were displaced from their homes and left without shelter following torrential downpours in Freetown, Sierra Leone on August 2nd. GOAL staff were deployed to Moeba, Kuntholoh, Bololo and Temne in to immediate aftermath for a rapid assessment. In this time, staff registered the needs of those effected by the severe weather. The distribution of emergency items to seven communities began in the once registration was completed. Blankets, mattresses and buckets were among the essential items issued in effected areas.
Prompt coordination with Freetown City Council (FCC) and the Office of National Security (ONS) helped team members register households in need of emergency assistance. 1,200 were registered in total in three days. It is believed six people also died during the catastrophic flooding and landslides. The strong relationship between community leaders and GOAL in these areas allowed for a swift response time.
Many areas are now uninhabitable with health centres and schools among the infrastructure damaged. Some areas are still believed to be inaccessible meaning the initial figures of those affected may still increase. GOAL will begin work on water and sanitation hygiene (WASH) throughout the region as waterborne diseases will spread through the contaminated water sources.
In the early hours of August 15th, more flooding was reported in 14 communities in Freetown. Quick assessment revealed that 200 more households have been effected with almost one third of these completely destroyed.
GOAL continues to work alongside the FCC and ONS to reach as many households as possible with much needed assistance. Chiefs from the areas said they have never seen flooding this in their localities before.