Death toll mounts in Sierra Leone mudslides

Sierra Leone mudslidesFrom TETEH KAMARA in Freetown, Sierra Leone
FREETOWN, (CAJ News) – DEAD bodies still found in water sources and outbreaks of diarrhea, malaria and other diseases are commonplace as Sierra Leone reels from deadly mudslides.
At least 400 people have been killed, including some 122 children, while 810 people are still missing and feared dead.
An estimated 3 000 people have been displaced by the floods – around half of them thought to be children – and, as rain continues to beat down on the ravaged West African nation, many are huddled without beds, blankets or mosquito nets on floors of schools, mosques or houses.
Aid agencies warned a child health crisis was looming.
“This tragedy has already claimed the lives of more than 100 children. It’s our responsibility to ensure that number doesn’t rise,” said Sasha Ekanayake, Save the Children’s Sierra Leone director.
The mudslide, which hit the Regent area outside the capital Freetown, damaged water pipelines and pumping capacity.
As a result, parts of affected areas have been without water. Wells and boreholes have also been contaminated.
The cash-strapped government has called for donations of protective clothing such as gloves and boots for rescue workers to help prevent the spread of diseases and further contamination.
The government and its partners are prioritizing finding safe shelter for children.
United Nations Children’s Fund is offering psycho-social support to the traumatised.
“We must do all we can to protect them from disease and exploitation and their families as the assessments continue to determine the scale of this crisis and loss of lives which is still unclear,” Unicef’s Hamid El-Bashir Ibrahim, said.
CAJ News

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Posted by on Aug 21 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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