( ENSPIRE News ) Devastating Mudslide in Regent Sierra Leone
ENSPIRE Contributor: Djata Doumbouya
On Monday, August 14th West African country Sierra Leone suffered a devastating mudslide leaving many residents homeless, missing or dead. Everyone living in the mountainous town of Regent lost their homes and most people lost their loved ones. There weren’t many survivors, after a few days the red cross lost hope. So many bodies were found and are still missing that the exact number of deaths can’t be known. Not only were there body parts scattered in the mud torn up my boulders and trees but there were corpses lying in the street and residents looking through the bodies to find their loved ones.
On Thursday the 17th the city had a mass burial of all corpses that were unidentified. Some of the bodies were so damaged that they were impossible to recognize. Over 400 corpses were buried leaving the city’s cemetery over capacity. Social workers were provided for comfort and medical care was provided for hurt victims. “I lost my family, I lost my people, I lost my place,“ says Gabriel Fattah Manga a victim of the mudslide. Manga lost his brother, sister in-law and nieces, and nephews. He’s now homeless and sleeps on a bench.
This isn’t the first time that a flooding has happened in Sierra Leone. In 2015, thousands were left homeless and more than 10 people were killed. The country is known for having heavy rain falls. This year, in particular, the country experienced 3 times heavier rain falls than usual. Sierra Leone’s government guaranteed that housing will be provided for the homeless and opened an emergency response center in Regent.
After a month of this horror, the weather has returned to normal. The United Nations is providing counseling for those affected by the trauma. The World Health Organizations worries about the vulnerability of residents because of previous infectious disease epidemics that may happen again.Citizens are using tents, churches, schools, mosques and community centers as refugees until they get the means to rebuild their homes or find new ones. The international agencies are working with local authorities to provide response kits for cholera so it can be easily detected. Sierra Leone isn’t economically established enough to support themselves during these tough times. The country is still trying to pull itself together although some residents still remain.