Salvation Army begins disaster response in Sierra Leone
18 August 2017
The Salvation Army in Sierra Leone is responding after torrential rains in the capital, Freetown, caused significant floods and devastating landslides.
According to the latest reports, almost 400 people are known to have lost their lives – most in a landslide that buried houses in the Regent neighbourhood – and at least 600 are missing. The country's Office of National Security estimates that more than 3,000 people have lost their homes.
Captain Broton Weah reports from Freetown that the landslide happened 'around 3am when people were at sleep. Floods came and swept away all that was in their path. Later, the back of the hill broke and covered the community ... Three members of the Salvation Army Freetown City Corps lost their lives in the process. Some of the survivors lost their legs or hands ... There is an urgent need for food, clothing and other things.'
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The government and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) have started the construction of temporary structures for some of the victims, but many needs remain unmet. In the straightforward words of Captain Weah: 'The need is very urgent as the situation is beyond bad.'
Funds have been made available by The Salvation Army's International Headquarters to meet the most pressing needs, while assessments continue. Working in cooperation with the government, the Sierra Leone Red Cross and other NGOs, The Salvation Army will provide food, cooking equipment and blankets to 200 families. Donations are being sought to enable a wider-scale response.