Recent downpour of rains in the last four days, commencing on Saturday 6th May to 10th May 2023 have claimed the lives of fifteen people across Sierra Leone. Reports have been pouring in today of deaths and building collapses and the National Disaster Management Agency has officially confirmed the occurrences at Bankole, Mile 13 and Koinadugu.
The Bankole Community, located near the Dangote cement factory off Fourah Bay Road in Freetown , was hit hard by a devastating flood following several hours of heavy rainfall during the early hours of 10th May 2023. According to local authorities, at least six people, including children, have lost their lives as a result of the flooding.
The sudden and intense downpour caused the small stream that runs through residential areas within the community to overflow, leading to immense flooding in the area. The floodwaters rose rapidly, catching many residents off guard and leaving them with little time to escape.
Witnesses reported scenes of chaos and confusion as people scrambled to evacuate their homes for safety. Some were swept away by the fast-moving water, while others were trapped under collapsed houses.
Emergency services, including the Sierra Leone Ports Authority, Fire service and the police, responded quickly to the disaster.
The flooding has caused widespread damage to homes and businesses in the area, with many properties left submerged in water.
In an official statement, the NDMA number of deaths stands at fifteen and the injured at fifteen also.
Authorities are said to have intervened to clear debris, locate corpses and provide emergency services to affected persons.
The tragedy in these communities serve as stark reminders of the urgent need for better, long lasting flood mitigating infrastructures in Sierra Leone.
As the country continues to grapple with the impacts of climate change, it is essential that steps are taken to protect vulnerable communities and prevent future disasters.