At least 6 people have lost their lives after torrential rains caused floods and landslides across parts of Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone.
The fatalities occurred when a mudslide destroyed two adjacent homes in an informal settlement in Looking Town, situated on a steep slope in the hills above the neighbourhood of Kissy.
Freetown Mayor, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, visited areas affected by the heavy rains. “My heart goes out to the families of the six people who died in the mudslide at Looking Town today,” the mayor said.
“Like many other informal settlements, there is no road to the community, it is accessed via a 15 minute walk along a narrow footpath. As I spoke with survivors and neighbours, I could clearly see a huge boulder positioned precariously above the community. A poignant reminder of the risk of disaster this community lives with daily,” Ms Aki-Sawyerr added.
In a statement of 29 August 2022, President Julius Maada described the situation as alarming and offered his condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives.
The heavy rain impacted other areas of the city, including Kaningo and Tengbeh Town. Local media said most of the major roads in Freetown were transformed to heavy flowing rivers after several hours of rainfall, posing serious threats to life and property. Many residents have evacuated due to the threat of landslides and flooding.
This is the second spate of heavy rain in Freetown in the last 2 weeks. Areas of the city including Culvert and Kroo Bay were flooded after a heavy downpour on 17 August, 2022.
“The heavy downpours experienced this August points to the impact and consequence of global warming and climate change. But years of poor urban planning and mismanagement of the city’s resources are an enormous contributor to flooding across Freetown,” the President added.
August 2017 Disaster
Catastrophic flooding struck in the city after 3 days of heavy rain in mid-August 2017, leaving people 1,141 dead more than 3,000 homeless.
I wish to extend my sincere condolence to the families and friends of those who lost their lives during today’s torrential rainfall. Flooding has been reported in several parts of Freetown, and the situation has been alarming. 1/6
— President Julius Maada Bio (@PresidentBio) August 28, 2022