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Freetown Flood & Landslide Update: The Emergency Camps are Phasing Out

The flooding and mudslide in August was a terrible tragedy in Sierra Leone. Thanks to your support, over the past months, we have provided food, water, clothing and other basic supplies to the families in need. We have also provided psychosocial counseling and educational classes. We could not have done it without your support.  Thank you so much for helping flood-affected families in Sierra Leone.  

After such a tragic event, the transition back to normal life is not an easy one. Because of this, and to help continue the process of helping, we organized a Fun Fair on November 11, 2017. This was a special treat for the kids residing at the Juba Response Emergency Camp. The Fun Fair gave these children a chance to enjoy an event and provide some healing from their traumatic experience. The event included a skit (play) and a musical concert by a well-known, young artist. 

One of the main preventive measures highlighted in the skit was the importance of hand washing. Kids were encouraged to wash their hands before eating, after using the restroom. Parents were also encouraged to wash their hands before feeding their kids. The skit highlighted areas such as hilltops, the bank of streams and slums as dangerous areas people must stay away from to protect themselves and their children.

Develop Africa’s Director, Mr. Abu Conteh, encouraged both the kids and parents to adhere to the preventative measures of cholera highlighted in the drama by the kids and also to stay away from vulnerable areas. In his speech, he advised parents to do everything in their power to send their kids back to school. “Education” he stated “is the key to every success of a nation. Education is the poor man’s friend.”

These emergency response camps were set up on a temporary basis. Long term, keeping the families in tents is far from ideal. With this in mind, the families were informed several weeks ago that the camps would be phased out. Families were encouraged to accelerate plans to move out. In order to help them transition out, the families have started receiving care packages (money towards housing expenses, food, water, clothes and other basic supplies).

After the landslide, mudslide and flooding on 14 August 2017, camps of tents were set up to house displaced people. The Office of National Security (ONS) over the weekend engaged with displaced victims at the various camps in Freetown on dispatch plans and procedures for the closing down of the camps on 15 November 2017. The camps will come down and the victims will be removed from the camps.”  - Full Article from

 Another news article states, "On 20 November the ONS announced that verified survivors who had not received their aid packages would be permitted to continue sleeping in the formal and informal shelters until they did."  -Full Article-

By November 22nd, at least 28 families had left the Juba camp, with more families leaving every week. Many of the families expressed a sense of powerlessness and uncertainty about their future. 

We have obtained the cell phone numbers of many of the families. We plan to continue to provide support to them - particularly in the area of scholarship assistance for the children. These families truly need all the support that they can get as they try to start life over.

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