On Monday 14th August after days of torrential rain, floods and landslides destroyed thousands of homes, leaving over 400 people dead in Sierra Leone.

Hitting the area of Regent on the outskirts of the capital Freetown, the mudslide is thought to have travelled a distance of two miles, sweeping away entire communities in its path.  A national emergency has been declared, with several hundred still missing and communities braced for possible further flooding and mudslides.  

Our local partners have reported that many are homeless, infrastructure is struggling to cope and people are in desperate need.

Stephanie Mooney, Feba Partnerships Team Director

This time of year is rainy season, and although Sierra Leone is used to experiencing some flooding as a result of heavy rains, nothing of this magnitude is thought to have been seen for decades.

People gather at site of mudslide, Sierra LeonePoor drainage systems overwhelmed by the torrential downpours bring concerns about water borne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera or typhoid.

International support has been requested and aid organisations are now coordinating their response and addressing immediate needs. 

Feba can now confirm that the staff of our partner radio station BBN are safe. The station is currently assessing ways to support affected communities, including a potential counselling service for survivors, and are amending their broadcasts in response.

 Tim Hollingdale, Director of Supporter Development notes:

'It was devastating to hear of the mudslides in an area still recovering from the ebola epidemic. Freetown in Sierra Leone has been an area close to the hearts of our supporters since the outbreak in 2014.  From generous donations enabling radios to be sent as an emergency response to the ongoing funding of projects supporting community recovery post-ebola, I'm sure that the families affected by the mudslides are in the prayers of our supporters.  Please continue to pray for BBN's broadcasts to provide comfort and practical support to communities in need, and for listeners to feel God's love at this difficult time.'     

One of Feba's core focus areas is using radio as emergency response. Feba's current project supporting communities in Sierra Leone will continue and we are currently liaising with our partners to assess how our teams can respond further to this disaster.  

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Photos: Xinhua / Alamy Stock Photo