Sierra Leone’s Flooding and Mudslide Disaster — My Story

On Aug. 14, Freetown was struck by a mudslide and flash flooding that cost the lives of nearly 500 people. It affected almost 6,000 people living primarily in five of the most hard-hit communities and left hundreds missing.

A mudslide devastates the Regent Community in Freetown, Sierra Leone. / Abdul Samba Brima, JSI

In response, the Sierra Leone Government activated emergency response systems that were established with support from donors like USAID after the recent Ebola outbreak.

This allowed the government to respond to the immediate needs of communities directly affected by the mudslide, including providing supplies such as food, medicine, water and clothes. They also gave refresher training for health care workers, and shared key messages that instruct communities how to prevent a cholera outbreak.

Officials hold a training for mental health nurses who deployed for the emergency response after mudslides in
Freetown. / King’s Sierra Leone Partnership
The author, Abdul Samba Brima is John Snow Inc.’s communications coordinator with the USAID-funded Advancing Partners & Communities Project. He helped rescue survivors after the recent mudslides in Sierra Leone.

Health workers trained by USAID have played an active role providing care and support to survivors, including outreach to help prevent water borne diseases like cholera.

I am grateful for the support USAID is giving to our communities in Sierra Leone to cope with the aftermath of this emergency. The work to rebuild the health system post-Ebola has clearly been effective, as it withstands this latest tragedy to befall my country.

Damage from mudslides in one Sierra Leone community. / Abdul Samba Brima, JSI

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JSI is a public health consulting firm that works to improve the health and well-being of underserved and vulnerable people and communities throughout the world

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JSI

JSI is a public health consulting firm that works to improve the health and well-being of underserved and vulnerable people and communities throughout the world