Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 August 2017
The terrible mudslides in Freetown, which have left more than 3000 people homeless and over 600 dead, is said to grimly illustrate the human cost of the Koroma government’s failure to implement basic housing, land and environmental protection policies, said Amnesty International.
The damning statement titled – ‘Sierra Leone: Housing and environmental failures behind shocking scale of mudslide deaths’, published three days after the disaster in Freetown by Amnesty International, says that ‘the scale of the human tragedy in Freetown is, sadly, very much man-made’.
“Right now, Sierra Leone needs immediate assistance to save lives and provide for those who have lost their homes, but we should also ask why so many people died. While flooding is a natural disaster, the scale of the human tragedy in Freetown is, sadly, very much man-made,” said Makmid Kamara, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of Global Issues.
“The authorities should have learned lessons from previous similar incidents and put in place systems to prevent, or at least minimise, the consequences of these disasters.
“Devastating floods are now an annual occurrence in the country’s capital. Yet, due to a lack of regulation and insufficient consideration for minimum standards and environmental laws, millions of Sierra Leoneans are living in dangerously vulnerable homes.”
Amnesty warned that; the right to adequate housing under international law requires that every home be ‘habitable’, which includes providing protections against disasters such as this. However, poor regulation and failures to ensure environmental factors are part of urban planning in Sierra Leone often result in structures being built that are both unsafe and situated in dangerous locations.
It said that in 2015, more than 10 people were killed and thousands more left homeless after flooding hit the capital. Hundreds were forced to camp in the national stadium for weeks while alternative accommodation was found for them.
“We call on the international community to support the emergency relief efforts of the Sierra Leonean government. The thousands of men, women and children who have lost their homes urgently need temporary accommodation and access to proper sanitation and healthcare,” said Makmid Kamara.
“We would also urge that at this critical time, the government ensures all emergency support is delivered in a completely accountable and transparent manner. There must be no repeat of the mismanagement and corruption that blighted the response to the country’s Ebola crisis,” says the head of Amnesty International in Sierra Leone.
kindly donate to our Freetown Flood Disaster Emergency Appeal. We’re raising £50000 to Help victims of the massive flooding in Freetown, Sierra Leone, which has taken the lives of hundreds of people, with thousands now homeless.
Please go to our JustGiving Crowdfunding Page and help make it happen:
Michael Samura I guess you are just one of them happy goats or baboons behind your so called first gentle thief. No wonder Sierra Leone is very hard to develop.
Guys like you will see white and call it red. Who is Ernest when his wretched Government is failing people and no one should talk about it.
A nation Rich in resources but the habitats are poor, lack of good governance.
Florence you dont know President Ernest. Your utterances about President Koroma is completely false and disrespect for the very first gentleman in our country.
Lets leave the rest to the future wherein the footprints of President Ernest Bai Koroma shall be seen, for generation yet unborn to judge those who would believe your rhetoric. God bless Sierra Leone.
Donations should not be given to Ernest Bai Koroma President of Sierra Leone. He is going to squander it. Up till now he cannot account for Ebola funds. He is a thief. All donations should be sent to NGOs, so that they can use the money wisely.