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USPG supports church in Sierra Leone as it reaches out to victims of mudslides

The Anglican Church in Sierra Leone is reaching out to communities affected by mudslides in the capital Freetown that claimed over 400 lives, with hundreds of people still missing.

USPG has sent an emergency grant to the church to fund food, clothing and medical support.

The following report was sent to USPG by Jonathan Abiose Thomas, of the Diocese of Freetown.

He wrote: ‘This disaster has left over 400 people dead and 600 unaccounted for, with thousands homeless.

‘Rescue teams, including the police, army and health workers, have been working round the clock to help with clearing up, the decent burial of the dead, and rehousing of the survival victims.’

Sierra Leone mudslide
Photo supplied by the Diocese of Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The mudslides on 14 August were caused by a combination of heavy rains and a shallow earthquake 1,000km from Freetown.

Mr Thomas explained: ‘There has been extensive damage to lives and properties.

‘The rains started at about 4am. It was like the mountain erupted, and mud headed downhill into a densely populated area. Buildings collapsed and were dragged by the mud and water from the hill to flat ground.’

The church has been providing temporary accommodation in school buildings for those affected and has been helping with the registration of victims, with an estimated 4,000 people in need of emergency aid.

Al Jazeera offered this heart-breaking story, quoting trauma expert Musa Kallon: ‘People are really traumatised. Most of the people I spoke with today are the sole surviving members of their family. I spoke to one lady who lost almost her entire family during the Ebola crisis. Her only surviving daughter passed away in these floods.’

Also speaking on the Al Jazeera website, Kallon added that Christians and Muslims were working together to help dig people out from the mud and provide clothes and shelter to those who are most affected, particularly women and children.


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