DCI-Sierra Leone brings hope to the victims of the floods and mudslides in Freetown

Freetown was hit by devastating flooding and mudslides in August 14th, 2017. More than 400 people were killed, and 600 people are still missing

Over 3,000 homes were destroyed, an estimated 6,000 people are living in sub-standard temporary shelters and thousands are desperately in need of help. There is no proper sanitation or access to safe drinking water, and health services are precarious. Protection from gender-based violence and access to justice must be guaranteed.

Defence for Children Sierra Leone is working with the government, the National Emergency Response team and other agencies to respond to the needs of those affected. 

 

Amina’s story 

Amina* wonders how she could wake up in a classroom, but later she realised it was no longer a classroom but her new home. The flooding and mudslides that hit communities in Freetown did not spare Amina and her family.

Amina is a 5th class pupil at Regent village on the outskirts of Freetown, where thousands of houses were submerged when the hillside collapsed on August 14th, 2017. She said the tragedy brought fear and change in her life, she has been scared since the disaster occurred.

“I could not spend time on my books because I was still afraid of what the next minute would bring, I thought the floods would come again and I was worried,”

Defense for Children – Sierra Leone Response

Since the disaster happened, DCI-SL has redoubled its efforts to strengthen community child protection and response mechanisms. This to ensure that human rights are protected and prevent gender-based violence & abuse.

Amongst its response, DCI-SL is coordinating with the government the implementation of the minimum initial service package, a series of crucial actions required to  respond to child protection needs and prevent violence and abuse against children. DCI-SL is also training community volunteers and parents to meet the needs of women and children.

Safe spaces are being secured to provide psychosocial and legal support to survivors, and to expand access to services and justice systems.

Together with partners, DCI-SL is also helping the government to do a rapid registration of flood-affected people and to voice their needs.

 

Still, much is needed.

Young people are especially vulnerable, community members told DCI-SL.

We need help in every aspect, especially for children’s and women’s well-being and protection

 

* Names changed for privacy reasons