On Monday, August 14, houses built in vulnerable areas on the steep hillsides of Sugar Loaf Mountain were struck by a torrent of water and soil. Lumely, the community affected by the mudslide, is located several miles outside of the capital Freetown, Sierra Leone. While totals vary, it is estimated that over 9,000 people have been injured and displaced and more than 400 people have died.
August is in the middle of the rainy season in Sierra Leone, and the mudslides began after several hours of heavy rainfall. It is estimated there may be more mudslides in this area as rain continues to fall. “As you can imagine, everyone is in shock,” shares Marco Cable, Global Ministries Executive of the Africa Office, “Sierra Leone is still recovering from the Ebola crisis, years of Civil War and now this natural disaster.” The Council of Churches in Sierra Leone (CCSL) has partnered with local and international organizations to provide for the immediate needs of shelter, food, clothing, toiletries, and medical assistance for displaced families who have lost their homes and possessions in the mudslide. Together with the government of Sierra Leone, the Council will continue to assess the situation and put together a long-term strategy for assisting displaced families.
A short video clip demonstrating the damage caused by the massive mudslide in Sierra Leone.
The Council of Churches has called for a three day period (August 17-19) of fasting and prayers for the disaster victims and families. All church leaders from the Council are traveling to the community to provide pastoral care for those affected. A service for the mass burial of unidentified bodies organized by Sierra Leone’s faith communities was held on Thursday, August 18.
One Great Hour of Sharing (UCC) and Week of Compassion (Disciples) are supporting this response in close coordination with Global Ministries, read more here.
The Council of Churches in Sierra Leone released a statement on the flooding and mud slide surrounding Freetown, read the statement here.
You can make a contribution through the following links, please indicate that your gift is for Sierra Leone Mudslide Relief.
Week of Compassion (Disciple)
One Great Hour of Sharing (UCC)
Source: Global Ministries