EU provides funding for victims of flooding in Freetown – but more needed

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 August 2019:

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, has announced that in response to the floods in Freetown earlier this month, the European Union is providing €80,000 in humanitarian funding to assist those most affected.

This EU funding will support the Red Cross in delivering much needed relief assistance, including water, sanitation and health, psychosocial support, and health promotion activities. The humanitarian aid will directly benefit 1,800 people (300 households), who had their homes destroyed in the flooding.

The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone has experienced persistent torrential rains since late May. The resulting floods damaged houses, road networks and destroyed the livelihoods of approximately 896 households (5,381 people).

According a report by the International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies, Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone has been experiencing persistent torrential rains from late May 2019 to August 2019.

The highest recorded incident was the August 2nd rainfall causing associated impacts, including flooding in low lying areas as well as new episodes of landslides on low scale in the eastern part of the city.

The main road to the city’s centre was rendered impassable due to the flood waters, heavily constraining vehicles and pedestrians having to find alternative routes. The city continues to experience more rainfall which may cause more flooding and spread to additional communities which would further increase the number of affected people.

The floods and landslides were triggered by a heavy and continuous downpour that was experienced on 1st August 2019 from 10:00pm until the next morning on 2nd August 2019.

The raging floods resulted in substantial destruction of houses, road networks and destroyed the livelihoods of approximately 896 households (5,381 people) according to the results of the rapid needs assessment (RNA) conducted by the Office of National Security (ONS) in collaboration with other humanitarian actors in disaster management.

The Office of National Security reported that the floods have already claimed many lives, and more people, especially lactating mothers, pregnant women and children, are likely to face the risks of illness from water-borne diseases.

The International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies’s report says that owing to stagnation of dirt and pool of ponds, it is likely that malaria will be on the increase. This is a potential threat to people, especially those living in the affected communities.

The abundance of contaminated water with limited WASH facilities are a basis for majority people living in the affected communities to be exposed to diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera.

In addition, the flood has undermined the livelihood opportunities of people in the affected communities as it destroyed crops as well as submerged food stuff in some of the affected households which consequently result to malnutrition especially for children under five years of age.

Based on this background, there is a need for a multi-stage response, linking relief and recovery interventions for the affected populations.

It is on account of these details that Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS) and its Movement partners including IFRC, BRC and FRC are exerting efforts to embark on life-saving activities (assistance programme).

SLRCS says it will continue to monitor and assess the flood situation as it evolves, remaining agile for further action to save lives.

But is the 80,000 Euros funding from the EU enough to tackle the impacts of the floods? And what is the government doing to prevent these deadly occurrences in the future?

9 Comments

  1. Integrity,Dignity,and Self worth have just released a joint statement saying – only the mentally ill,blind,and disabled should not be frowned upon for belittling themselves by receiving handouts from others.Funny,isn’t it? Indeed if you don’t believe in something,you will fall for anything.

    A nation of beggars,relying on scraps that hungry vultures deliberately ignore,is what our people have now become under the New Failing Clueless Direction. Truly laughable! The stupidities of this erratic government is truly confounding – they are plunging,and drowning a fragile nation in frightening financial whirlpool, exposing it daily,recklessly to economic thunderstorms,that could wreck havoc,and destroy our beloved nation,without any regard,and consideration for the poor masses.

    You think you will continue wearing the emblem of this nation,roaming around like a beggar,looking for scraps,tarnishing,and defacing the image of Sierra Leone and we will not utter a word? Sadly Mistaken! If 80,000 Euros is an achievement that makes you proud of your government,then clearly,without a shred of doubt,you have been swimming in shallow,and muddy waters just above the knee.

    Yep, yours is a government that swims in little streams flowing just above their incompetent ankles: Never once have they seen the wondrous, mighty eternal Oceans. This lousy,shameless, SLPP government resembles a group of silly fishermen, I once saw by the Rokel,casting their old,torn,and worn out fishing nets – they never catch anything of substance,and when they do the clever fishes laugh at them and slip away.

    Find yourselves new,and dependable nets,they say! Hilarious! Beggars with ” POT BELLIES ” why cant you see,you are a disgrace to you and me. Plant a seed,for millions to feed,instead of roaming,moaning, begging,and wanting things for free. SLPP, Get your act together! And please,Get some dignity,integrity,and credibility also..Please,please,please don’t beg NO MORE. Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  2. The first thing every Sierra Leonean should try to adopt is the culture of saying THANK YOU for gifts, goods or services rendered towards our citizens whether foreign or domestic. Even the US President usually appeal to the world for assistance during natural disasters ( example the flooding in Louisiana aka Katrina) and the only aid former President George W. Bush rejected was from late President Fidel Castro of Cuba because of the Economic embargo against Cuba.

    But I still remember the statement issued by the State Department was “THANKS but no thanks“. Natural disasters doesn’t ask what political party you are from and during that time we should focus on saving lives and properties and not making as creole man says “POE PROUD“. Hopefully when things return back to normal we will start brainstorming about solutions.

  3. Mr Wiecha – 10 years? You’ve got to be kidding! It seems you do not understand the intense, fiery passion,that ceaselessly burns within Saidu Conteh. I don’t mess around when it comes to my duties,obligations,and responsibilities. I guarantee you,I and my crew will work, night and day until our mission,and goals are accomplished in 12 months – we will be furiously kicking,and hauling asses.

    My first step – finding the money needed as quickly as possible. All my finances must be ready in at least 1 month. And while I am looking for that initial, signature money,I will be handpicking a rock solid crew – men,and women who resemble tireless,dependable work horses,that never leave any job unfinished, or any stone unturned.

    I think I know a few of such men. And remember the money will come quickly,and easily,because there will be an air-tight public salary budget, no Free quality education,or needless,reckless government spending on new vehicles,bonuses,expensive travel allowances,or an extravagant Lungi bridge. My eyes will remain fixated on our major export products,especially our lucrative minerals,every grain of gold,and piece of diamond must be visibly accounted for.

    And instead of raising taxes, investors will be advised,and encouraged to become stakeholders in the development of the New rehabilitated city of Freetown,and its surrounding areas. I will plead,reason,and bargain with the Big boys – Heavyweight Investors,and will sweeten their ears,saying to them – Gentlemen,if any of you is generous,and kind enough to build me at least a hundred 1 or 2 bedrooms units you will be granted a reasonable tax free status,and national recognition,in this country for many glorious years to come. Mr Wiecha in one month,all this is possible,and must be done.

    With the Capital needed at hand,my next move will be to meticulously seek out vast expanses of free,habitable,productive government lands. Lungi will be my first option. I will create a massive,hospitality,’ Tent village’,right there for all who wish to have affordable housing,after the project is finished. The advantages will be many – It will be like a friendly registration,and familiarity process – Future homeowners getting to know each other – and best of all,it will provide us with an excess of cheap labor,and manpower needed to accomplish our great work,with ease.

    With a highly functioning Tent village,a daily reasonable wage earning,free health care,and credible prospects of owning a home,many people in the Slums of Freetown in theirp thousands will hurriedly pack their belongings and relocate to Lungi.

    In the Third month,the building of the massive affordable housing project begins. Using local engineers,skilled craftsmen,and hardworking laborers,the cost,and expenditures of such a huge project could be easily kept at the lowest,acceptable margins. Furthermore, I will be aggressively soliciting donations,expertise,and cooperation from ECOWAS States – I will coerce,bully,and twist their arms using indelible,agreements,and clauses of mutual understanding,and cooperation, they cannot escape from, manipulate,or attempt to change.

    There will be men,the likes of whom you have never seen before,rare individuals, coming from all parts of Africa,to make this impossible dream a reality,and a glorious achievement in Sierra Leone.

    “TEMPUS FUGIT” its a Latin phrase,meaning,”Times Flies.” Now let’s move on. The fourth month will be a time for assessment,gathering speed,and increasing momentum. While the building process is rapidly progressing,some members of my crew in Freetown will be relocating people to the ‘Tent cities’ in Lungi,and other areas, while another group will be demolishing illegal structures, buildings,and enclaves blocking,and destroying the environment, and indispensable waterways.

    Mouth watering incentives will be given to citizens ready to move out of Freetown; accompanied by stern warnings,thoughtful advice,and loud words of rebukes,and suggestions of eventually using the iron arms of the law,in order to achieve our aims will get many people to rethink their options sensibly,cooperate,and accept our generous,peaceful offers of relocation.

    In Six months,as the building materials already ordered,keep on pouring in,and visible gains and progress are being witnessed by. all. There will be a noticeable electrifying atmosphere never before felt or seen in Sierra Leone ever before. The word will be spreading like wildfire throughout our beloved nation – for the first time in Sierra Leone,everyone regardless of your tribal,religious,and political affiliations will be able to own a home,they call their own.

    Slum communities,and dilapidated, ramshackle houses will become a thing of the past in just 10 months; and by that time,rest assured, Freetown will almost be completely restructured,reorganised,and ready to show her new smiling face to the world.

    You see,Mr Wiecha,no man can compare himself to the Master of Creation,or even try to walk in the trail of his Giant footsteps that are ceaselessly burning with unquenchable fire; but what we can do is to dream,and believe that the impossible,can be achieve, – that there is no fate,on this beautiful earth but that which we make for ourselves. Twelve months Sir,guaranteed – my word is my bond. Rising Sun Will Rise Again!

  4. President Bio did his best to establish the Department of INNOVATION. But is this department thinking of innovative solutions to these types of disgusting disasters? We have the METEOROLOGICAL department. There is also the Ministry of works and the Ministry of Lands.

    With all these departments, LIFE and PROPERTY are being lost every year due to heavy rains. Let’s say that the country has a very poor sewage infrastructure. But what are these departments doing to help save the lives of our people living in vulnerable areas by using their skills? Are they asking for FUNDS but the government is not responding?

    The METEOROLOGICAL department could for example gather enough DATA/INFORMATION which it could pass on to the INNOVATION director for simulation projects for early warning flood signals. There are loads of information/data out there to be used to help save lives.

    They could even use primitive methods like measuring the amount of rainfall that could cause FLOODING. Let’s say flooding occurs when there is a downpour of 3 inches of rainfall. The METEOROLOGICAL department could just give a MANDATORY EVACUATION ORDER when the rainfall is about 1.5 inches. This would give people ample time to evacuate their areas to safe places. Again, safe areas should have been constructed. Has that been done yet?

    The INNOVATION department for its part, could exploit the CELLULAR AUTOMATION FRAMEWORK: for e.g. to help develop an early warning system with DATA from the METEOROLOGICAL department. EASY! All these departments I have mentioned should work together to start finding solutions to this deadly, disgusting and catastrophic problem which is happening every raining season and is going to continue.

    Bad HABITS, CLIMATE CHANGE and NEGLIGENCE by the government of the day are all contributing factors to this disgusting and deadly disaster. How many more people are going to die before the government of the day come to its senses? Now, they are happy to receive 80,000 EUROS donation from the EU.

    80000 EUROS? NAH FIT YAI. Just send the money back to the Europeans and use some of the money accumulated from taxes according to the Finance Minister. May the ALMIGHTY GOD help our leaders to give priority to our immediate problems. AMEN AND AMEN.

  5. Thanks to the EU and all local and international organizations that are donating to our nation during this trial time. Global warming is responsible for most of the natural disasters around the world including Sierra Leone; and any donation towards victims of this natural disaster is really appreciated. As an ordinary Sierra Leonean I will like to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

  6. Any nation,that accepts 80,000 Euros as a handout to manage its social,moral,and economic challenges,and predicaments in this modern technological era, should be looked upon,as a total disgrace to its citizens and all of humanity. Seriously,I know a man that carries much more than that meager amount in his briefcase everyday. Strange indeed.

    The ‘Athens of Africa,’has now become the ‘Beggars of Africa’.Disgraceful! But this is what happens when we keeping on electing incompetent people into positions of power – the likes of the BIO’s,and the SAFFA’s. How can these leaders with chaotic,volatile personalities,and mindsets,lacking the skills,and perceptions to promote order become a catalyst for positive,and genuine change?

    With the right personnel by my side, I can rearrange,restructure,and rehabilitate the whole city of Freetown in a jiffy – in no time at all;yet these people are struggling to do just that. Truly pathetic! Sincerely,in less than twelve months,Freetown can become one of the most safe, secure, peaceful, liveable, and affordable cities in Africa. Its clear, Priorities are not in order!

    These unthinking heads of the SLPP government,are not only empty of good judgement,but full of prideful ambitions,that are not in the interest of the poor,struggling masses. Who needs a billion dollar Lungi bridge,when we could build Mega projects of affordable housing, massively sprawled out,like giant Octopuses in their thousands, for everyone instead.

    Government needs to find legitimate ways to facilitate the free movement of large numbers of people,out of Freetown,into other less populated areas through financial assistances,housing incentives,and creative policies,and ideas. The dangerous floods and mudslides will not just vanish,and go away. Like a thief that has done his deed…Such terrible events will always continue if something sensible,and credible is not quickly done,to change things.

    Again,this is why I have always maintained, that the SLPP’s expensive,money gobbling,Free Quality Education was a poorly conceived idea. Here you are, spending millions of dollars to keep it accessible,and sustainable,and on the other hand,accepting peanuts as donations of goodwill for mudslides,floods,and other emergencies. Makes no sense to me, at all.

    Real,discerning,intelligent leaders plan ahead,and look in the future like mirrors,so that when disasters come knocking on their doors, they will be adequately prepared,and ready to measure up,with dignity,and with heads raised high…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

    • Saidu Conteh, I’d rather accept peanuts in donations and make it public, than accept millions of dollars in Ebola funds and secretly squander it, while millions of my compatriots are dying. The wages of sin is death.

    • Good evening Mr. Conteh, I can agree with a lot of your comment, but only the timetable. 12 month? We are not God who it is said created the world in 7 days. To renovate Freetown and to reduce the population, believe me, you will need max. 10 years.

  7. Nicely written article: with all the facts and critical questions embedded in it. The end of the article is my take. Brilliant.

Tell us about your views

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.