Image fo woman and child walking across flooded ground
Sierra Leone – 30 August 2017

SOS on hand to help in Sierra Leone mudslide

SOS Children's Villages in Sierra Leone team has been on hand to provide emergency support to children and families affected by the devastating mudslide that struck the country’s capital Freetown on 14 August, killing more than 1,000 people.

SOS Sierra Leone psychologist Teresa W. Ngigi said: “After the mudslide we decided to go and see the places that were affected. We were able to see the devastation, a lot of destruction, a lot of trauma. So what we decided to do first of all was to offer psychological first aid.”

The extent of the trauma became clear when talking to residents about the mudslide that left many people completely cut off and without access to food and safe drinking water.
One resident told SOSUK's sister organisation: “On Sunday the rain began during the night until 5am and at that time it was impossible for anyone to come out of their houses because the heavy downpour had created a huge river.

“Right now our basic need is for a bridge to be constructed to enable us to cross over to our homes. Secondly, we need provision of pure drinking water on our side because we have been directed to go up the hill to fetch water and it is risky for us to cross this river right now.”

 
The SOS team has been assessing the support needed for families affected by the mudslide in Sierra Leone
 

SOS staff has been working to help find temporary accommodation for adults and children who have lost everything. Many children were separated from their families during the mudslide. Others were left orphaned.

After initial assessments, SOS Deputy National Director Sierra Leone Golden Mwisa said emergency relief would be rolled out by the end of the week to the children and families needing it most.

You can help SOS Children’s Villages UK provide vital support when disaster strikes by making a donation to our emergencie relief fund today.