SIERRA LEONE: FLASH FLOOD REOCCURS IN FREETOWN, KILLS FIVE, DISPLACES RESIDENTS

Source: www.africanakua.com | Ibrahim Sorie Jalloh, Sierra Leone

Flash flooding hit Freetown, the Sierra Leonian capital on Friday afternoon destroying scores of properties and claiming five lives due to a wall collapse.

The incident caused a lot of traffic in the port city because there was no passage. Properties worth millions of Leones were flashed away especially in the Kroo Bay community. For the very first time, Queen Elizabeth II Quay is also reported to be affected. Containers were removed from their stacked positions and some washed into the deep blue sea.

Damages caused in other areas including Regent, Bathurst, Ferry Junction and Pa Demba Road are much better than Kroo Bay Cross (underneath the bridge) and Black Hall road which happen to be slums. Residents in these areas were left homeless.

The Freetown City Council in collaboration with the Military have been on a flood mitigation exercise in flood-prone areas for the past two months clearing drainages for easy flow of water. Friday’s disaster sends a clear message that more needed to be done.

On August 14, 2017, massive flooding occurred in the capital of Sierra Leone following three days of torrential rainfall, mass wasting of mud and debris killing 1,141 people leaving more than 3,000 homeless.

Causal factors for the mudslides include the region’s particular topography and climate – with Freetown’s elevation close to sea level and its greater position within a tropical monsoon climate.

Victims of the flood are calling on the government to respond promptly to prevent further injuries and property destruction.

But there is a hot debate among citizens that residents in slum communities especially, Kroo Bay, should not be catered for because there was an early sign of flooding and the previous government  provided them a place at the Western Area Rural District for settlement.

However, the residents refused not relocate because the Western Area Rural District lacked basic amenities.

Meanwhile, the Office of National Security (ONS) and the Freetown City Council (FCC) have begun rescue activities and have sent out phone numbers to the public to call for assistance.

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