Sierra Leone: Supporting Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction

Supporting Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Sierra Leone.png

Example of a formal drainage channel in Makeni City, Sierra Leone. Source: World Bank

Context and Objectives 
The primary objective of the project was to contribute to integrating Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) in development strategies in Sierra Leone. The project aimed to do so by building the capacity of targeted communities to implement community-based DRM, and by providing technical assistance to district and national institutions to integrate DRR and CCA in development planning.

Main Activities and results
The project activities were channelled through three main components:

  • Component 1: Strengthening national level coordination capacity for disaster risk reduction, preparedness and emergency response. This included a review to assess capacity and identify gaps and priorities for capacity development, support of the implementation of the memorandum of understanding between the Office of National Security’s Disaster Management Department, the Ministry of Energy and Water and the Sierra Leone Red Cross to promote coordination, as well as learning activities including training, exchanges, and tool development for increased capacity.
  • Component 2: Community based disaster risk management in and around dam sites and flood prone areas. This included educating local communities living downstream of dams on river/flood safety and what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Component 3: Urban risk assessment in Freetown. This activity supported a participatory urban risk assessment in Freetown, where a large proportion of urban poor are highly vulnerable to flood risk and landslides. The assessment also aimed to promote women and youth as community DRR champions.

The main results included:

  • Under Component 1, a capacity building workshop on Post Disaster Needs Assessments was organized in the fall of 2013, and a two day "experience sharing meeting" was organized in July 2014 for members of Sierra Leone's national DRR Platform and officials from the Ghanaian National Disaster Management Organization.
  • Activities under components 2 and 3 were completed. The Government of Sierra Leone was supported in developing a city level risk assessment for three cities (Freetown, Makeni and Bo), which provided a comprehensive risk analysis and identified priority needs, priority investments, and feasibility studies. The studies developed under the ACP-EU NDRR project feed into the World Bank-financed Freetown Emergency Recovery Project, which rehabilitates selected critical infrastructure and strengthens government capacity for managing disaster risk.

Partnerships and Coordination
The project team was in close coordination with the Office of the National Security, which is the main counterpart at central level; as well as with all the targeted cities, for example the mayors of all three cities and the district chairman of Makeni and Bo. 

The World Bank team coordinated with the EU Delegation regarding other ongoing EU initiatives in Sierra Leone. In addition, the EU Delegation was invited to the presentation and validation of the project findings. 


  • Africa
Priority area
  • Mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction (DRR)
Window of Action
  • Window 2
Amount approved
  • $699,837
  • $135,000
  • 10/2012 - 10/2018