Sierra Leone: Rapid Damage and Loss Assessment

On 14 August, 2017, a tropical convergence in the Regent area on the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown resulted in a section of Sugar Loaf mountain coming down. A combination of heavy downpours and unregulated construction on the sides of the mountain undermined its structure leading to mudslides and floods, killing 493 people with an additional 600 people missing and leaving over 3,000 people homeless. In the days following the event, heavy rain continued to fall over Freetown, increasing the risk of additional mudslides and landslides and limiting the access to the affected areas, with the number of displaced people consequently increasing.

The government of Sierra Leone requested support to undertake a Post-Mudslides and Floods Rapid Needs Assessment and to develop a Floods Recovery Framework, and received funding from the ACP-EU NDRR Program. The Rapid Needs Assessment started on 24 August, supported by the WB, the United Nations and other development partners, and involved key government stakeholders, including, Ministry of Land, Country Planning and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, the Office of National Security, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Protected Area Authority.

The assessment outlined the total economic value of the effects of the landslide and floods to be estimated at about US $31.65 million, with the three sectors most affected being housing (US $15.4 million), social protection (US $4.85 million) and health (US $4.7 million), and the impact of the landslide leading to 349 destroyed buildings.

The assessment report was presented on 8 September 2017 to the Government of Sierra Leone, including President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the Hon. Vice President, cabinet ministers and senior government officials as well as UN agencies.

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