Freetown mudslide: one year on
On Monday 14th August 2017 an estimated 1,000 people died when an entire mountainside collapsed in the capital of Sierra Leone. Huge boulders, dislodged by rain, left a two-mile trail of destruction – flattening everything in its path. Street Child was one of the first major agencies to launch an emergency appeal.Your incredible support meant we were able to respond immediately, providing emergency relief when it was needed most – distributing over 87,000 food packages, over 5,000 packs of clothing and over 3,000 toiletries.
But the immediate response is only half the story.
The mudslide and flooding in Freetown had a huge long-term impact – livelihoods were destroyed and children were left out of school. Stories like Hawa Kamara’s are far too common.
Hawa had been a successful trader selling rice and fish and supporting her children’s schooling. Sadly, the flooding took away Hawa’s husband, one of her children, her home and her business.
Following the mudslide, the government of Sierra Leone provided families like Hawa’s with a £200 cash grant to help rebuild their lives.
In February, Street Child surveyed those impacted to check in on progress. In our ‘6 Months On’ report we highlighted that 41% of households still had no livelihood and 49% of households had at least 1 out of school child.
In response, we launched a programme to support 450 families like Hawa’s to set up a small business and provide 1,400 children with the education materials they need to return to school. Distribution of these grants, partly funded by proceeds from our 'Right to Learn' appeal, will begin next month, after the rains. In addition, we are now in the process of building two new schools to replace those rendered unsafe by the disaster, so even more impacted children can access the school they deserve.
All of this was possible because of your support – thank you.