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Christian Aid launches emergency appeal for Sierra Leone’s mudslide victims

This news post is almost 7 years old

​Christian Aid has launched an appeal to raise emergency funds for victims of a devastating mudslide in Sierra Leone

Christian Aid has launched a public appeal for emergency funds to give support to families affected by the recent flooding and mudslide disaster in Sierra Leone.

Around 3,000 people lost their homes after days of torrential rain caused a landslide that submerged whole communities in the mountain town of Regent, on the outskirts of the country’s capital Freetown.

It is thought that around 350 people have died, including over 120 children, with a further 600 individuals unaccounted for. Many have also been severely injured, the number currently at over 100 but constantly rising as rescue efforts continue.

Christian Aid hopes to use emergency funds to work through its partners in Freetown to reach 1,000 survivors and distribute relief items such as food, clean drinking water, mosquito nets, kitchen utensils and hygiene supplies, including sanitary products for women and girls.

Christian Aid’s country manager for Sierra Leone, Jeanne Kamara, said: “We Sierra Leoneans are resilient people and this week our resilience has been cruelly tested, yet again. As a resident of Freetown, it breaks my heart that another tragedy is unfolding here, while we’re still recovering from the deep-rooted impacts of the Ebola epidemic. We are going from emergency to emergency, and this is wreaking untold emotional, physical and psychological damage.

“I spoke to a group of women who said they and their surviving family members have no clothes, no underwear, no sanitary kits: everything that they owned has gone. People have nothing, not even a pair of slippers on their feet to make their way to some of the local registration centres.

“That’s why we are working around the clock, with our partners here in Freetown, to make sure help gets to those who need it most.”

Many families in the affected communities are having to shelter in various public buildings such as schools, community halls, churches and mosques. This will go on until the government announces long-term plans to give housing to displaced families.

Funds raised for relief by Christian Aid will focus on areas that are expected to receive less support from state bodies and aid organisations.