Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 May 2017
Hundreds of people have been left homeless as the start of the six months long rainy season makes its presence felt in the east of the capital Freetown. Stormy rainfall brought massive destruction of property and loss of life across many communities early this morning.
As low-lying areas at the foot of the Kissy Brook were turned into rivers, houses were left submerged in a sea of garbage and slurry. According to unofficial sources, there are unconfirmed reports of two deaths.
The low-lying communities of Freetown are at constant risk of landslides during the rainy season, as a result of the devastating effects of environmental degradation caused by the clearing of forest areas to make way for human settlements.
It is estimated that every year Freetown loses about 1% of its forest reserves to house building. The government has lost control of measures aimed at protecting the hills and forests of the capital.
And with climate change, the worst is yet to come, as many more people are certain to lose their lives and property to heavy rains and storms.
This is the start of the rainy season and already there are reports of major roads and streets covered in garbage and mud as high as two feet.
The main junction at Bai Bureh Road, serving as the corridor into and out of the city’s business district is reported to be impassable, as garbage from overfilled rubbish tip now covers the road.
In parts of the valley of Kissy Brook, water from the heavy rain has submerged houses and trees.
For the past few months the government has failed to ensure that garbage are collected across the city.
This has given rise to mountains of rubbish dumped on major roads and street corners, putting the population at risk of major disease outbreak, such as cholera and typhoid, or worse.
But tonight, it is the disaster that is now unfolding at Kissy Brook and nearby communities in the east of Freetown, that is of major concern. These are some of the latest photos of the destruction: