One month in the past, a mudslide devastated elements of Freetown, Sierra Leone. Estimates counsel about 800 folks had been killed and a minimum of 7,000 are actually displaced. After weeks of heavy rain, the highest of Sugar Loaf Mountain collapsed and smothered the neighborhood beneath it. Water pushed mud and heavy boulders down the valley, sweeping away homes in two different areas, Kamayama and Kaningo.
For the previous month, 1000’s of displaced households have been sleeping in momentary refuges. Whereas some persons are staying with mates or relations, others are on the flooring of college school rooms, at an area chief’s home and in a church. Greater than 200 households are staying in a humid, half-built home reverse the mudslide website.
The federal government has now erected two official camps, in Juba and Hill Station, supported by UN companies and non-governmental organisations. Those that have been verified as victims, and have nowhere else to go, are regularly being moved there. Low-cost homes are being in-built Six Mile, a far suburb of Freetown. Individuals from the affected communities are anticipated to maneuver there inside the subsequent three to 6 months.
Although assist has flooded into the nation and benefited many, some folks say that they have been ignored and are nonetheless missing in meals, drugs and satisfactory bedding.
For the reason that mudslide, Kadi Kamara and her one-year-old daughter, Esme, have been sleeping in a windowless, half-built home with out mattresses or bedding.
“I heard that they had been going to maneuver us out to one of many official camps,” says Kadi, “however we’re nonetheless right here. I believe they’ve forgotten about us. We’ve not had something to eat since yesterday morning. Many individuals are getting sick.”
When requested if she has registered to be able to obtain assist from the federal government, UN and NGOs, she says: “There are such a lot of registrations from all of the completely different organisations. Within the morning, night and evening time, persons are registering. I’ve registered a couple of occasions, however I do not know if it was the best one. Getting assistance is chaotic. For instance, some folks have three mattresses and others – like us – have none.”
At one of many official camps, in Juba, a girl worries that she must go away as she doesn’t have the yellow card issued after the registration course of.
“I used to be with many others at a faculty that day, we had been advised to go there to obtain meals. Once we got here again to Kamayama, they stated that individuals had been registering all day however we had missed it,” she says.
Twelve-year-old Mariatu Bangura has packed her bag and is ready to be transferred to the camp in Juba. She stands within the spot the place her home as soon as was, alongside her aunt. She was staying together with her granny on the morning of the mudslide, however each her mother and father had been killed.
“I’m taking care of seven kids now,” says her aunt, Mariah. “It’s totally onerous as a result of I can barely afford to feed my family. I do know that there are issues with pretend victims signing up for assist, however we’re the true victims and we’d like extra assist”.
Mariatu was not relocated that day, and returned to her aunt’s home within the night.
Esta and Ibrahim Kargbo dwell in the identical space of Kamayama. Their mother and father had been additionally killed.
Esta was staying with a relative on the time of the mudslide, however Ibrahim was in the home together with his household. He bought wedged below a collapsed tin roof and was rescued by a neighbour. Now, the youngsters live with their uncle, who has little cash and is fearful about supporting them. College has simply reopened, so he wants to purchase them books and supply cash for his or her lunches.
“Many of those girls have misplaced their properties, husbands and youngsters. A few of them haven’t handed the verification course of as a result of the chief and chairman within the space stated they didn’t recognise them. This implies they will not be capable of get assist,” says pastor John.
When requested about shifting to the relocation village in Six Mile, he says: “So long as they’ve faculties, church buildings, mosques and livelihood choices, then I believe folks might be completely satisfied to go”.
Development is below approach at Six Mile.
Presidential spokesman Abdulai Baytayray says: “Within the first section of constructing, we’re creating 53 homes. We may also construct an orphanage, clinic and faculty. We now have put aside an additional 200 acres (zero.eight sq km) on this space to construct on so we are able to relocate not solely these affected by the mudslide, however all these residing in harmful elements of Freetown”.
All pictures by Olivia Acland.