The procured supplies by the YMCA Sierra Leone were presented to the management team of the Don Bosco Orphanage in Sierra Leone on August 28, 2017. This response was timely supported with financial assistance provided by YMCA Driving Doctor Project as part of their usual response to disasters and epidemics in Sierra Leone.
Receiving the items on behalf of the flood and mudslide victims, the Director of Don Bosco Sierra Leone, Fambul George Crisafvilli, expressed his sincere thanks to YMCA for their timely support to help save mankind. He further expressed that the YMCA is one of the considerate neighbors that has always provided support in times of emergencies and disasters. He emphasized the already congested state of women and children presently camped by Don Bosco indicating the numbers as being far beyond the normal capacity.
The most affected areas of the flooding and mudslides are the Regent Community located on one side of the hill sides as well as communities in the valley spanning from Regent and Mortormeh communities right down to Kamayama, Kaningo and Pentagon Communities in the Lumley Village. It is reported that that the destruction of lives and properties had left more than 10,000 residents homeless and injured.
This situation has prompted various Ministries Department and Agencies, Office of National Security (ONS), NGOs especially Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, Caritas and YMCA Sierra Leone to go into action to assess the situation. From the preliminary assessment done by YMCA, it was observed that already more than 250 houses were buried (storey houses and shacks) at the mount Sugar Loaf area, Mortormeh, Kamayama, Lumley, Juba, Kaningo, Mountain Cut, George Brook, Big Wharf, Culvert and Wellington communities. There were very few survivors from the affected houses, implying a very heavy death toll especially at Mount Sugar Loaf as projected by those living in the area mostly impacted.
The amount of actual lives lost is estimated as over a thousand with rescue operations implemented by military personnel, Red Cross, Fire Force and Volunteers from neighboring communities. With intervention by Government and other NGOs, displaced people’s camps/centers are now set up in and out of these locations. There are on-going registrations of affected families by the government disaster management team led by the Ministry of Social Welfare. It is comprised of various NGOs and Humanitarian Organizations.
Don Bosco situated at Fort Street in Freetown is closer to the YMCA National Headquarters. Among others relief efforts, Don Bosco currently provides shelter, food and medical facilities for 204 mudslide and flood victims.
Source : Mustapha Momoh, Communications Volunteer YMCA Sierra Leone