Street Child charity launches emergency appeal for survivors of Sierra Leone flood disaster
PUBLISHED: 13:24 15 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:03 15 August 2017
Norfolk people are being urged to donate to an emergency charity appeal for survivors of the Sierra Leone mudslide and flood disaster.
By this afternoon, more than 300 people had been killed and 600 people were still missing after torrential weather struck the country’s capital Freetown and surrounding area on Monday.
An estimated 3,000 people have been left homeless by the disaster.
Many victims were trapped in homes buried under tons of mud and more bodies are expected to be found as floodwaters recede, according to the West Africa nation’s national broadcaster.
UK-based charity Street Child has launched the appeal.
CEO Tom Dannatt, Norwich resident and son of former head of the British Army General Sir Richard Dannatt, said: “Street Child will not ignore those who need our help. We want to provide emergency food and clothing to those who need it but we can only do that with your help.”
The mudslides in Freetown have been described as the worst natural disaster to strike Sierra Leone, a country that has already suffered from a decade of civil war and an Ebola outbreak that killed more than 8,000 people.
Speaking of the recent disaster, Mr Dannatt added: “These communities, who live on the hill slopes on the edge of Freetown, are amongst the capital’s poorest inhabitants.
“We have been working in and out of these communities since Street Child began operating in Freetown in 2009.
“Those who have survived this tragedy are left with simply nothing.
“The capacity of the already stretched Sierra Leonean government to help is very limited. This is a time where urgent charity is needed.
“In the short term we will focus on food, shelter and water. Afterwards we’ll focus on ensuring that affected children are able to restart school at the start of the school year in September; and then we will help affected families rebuild their livelihoods.”
Kelfa Kargbo, Street Child of Sierra Leone country director, said: “Urgent actions are needed. The current death toll has risen to over 300 and over 300 houses have been destroyed.”
Street Child was established in 2008 to create educational opportunities for some of the most vulnerable children in Africa and Asia.
To donate visit www.street-child.co.uk
Britain is working with Sierra Leone to coordinate rescue efforts for victims of “devastating” mudslides and torrential flooding that have killed more than 300 people in and around the capital Freetown.
International Development secretary Priti Patel said the UK government stands ready to provide further assistance.
The Red Cross estimates 3,000 people have been left homeless by the disaster, with the figure expected to rise, while communications and electricity have also been affected.
Ms Patel said: “I am deeply saddened by the devastating landslides and flooding in Freetown, Sierra Leone which have claimed innocent lives.
“From stopping the Ebola outbreak in its tracks to helping the country rebuild after this deadly disease, the UK continues to stand by the people of Sierra Leone.
“We have pre-positioned vital aid supplies and helped prepare the country’s response to disasters.”