After heavy rains, a mudslide close to Freetown has killed more than 300 people in a single night and left thousands homeless. I have close friends who have lost relatives and friends--one family had very recently finally saved enough money to build a house on the hill. The house was swept away, killing seven family members and leaving the family's youngest daughter and her mother as the only survivors. The daughter lost her leg and is in urgent need of medical care.
I am traveling to Sierra Leone today (Aug 15) will personally make sure that all funds go directly to the people most in need--no overhead, no administration (I will also be contributing best I can myself).
Obviously, this small effort won't make the structural changes that are needed to make the people of Sierra Leone safe from such catastrophes, but it will make a very real difference for very real human beings in dire need.
Here's the latest reporting from the Guardian:
“Hundreds of people have been killed in a mudslide near Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown. A hillside in Regent, a mountainous town 15 miles east of Freetown, collapsed in the early hours of Monday morning after heavy rains, leaving hundreds of people trapped. Morgues in the capital have been overwhelmed with bodies, while relatives have been left to dig through the mud in search of remains. Death tolls are unconfirmed, although the International Federation of Red Cross reports that 312 have been killed and more than 1,000 affected. Disaster officials in Sierra Leone have estimated 2,000 people have been left homeless. “It is likely that hundreds are lying dead underneath the rubble,” Victor Foh, the country’s vice president, told Reuters at the scene of the mudslide in Regent, adding that a number of buildings had been erected illegally in the area. “The disaster is so serious that I myself feel broken. We’re trying to cordon [off] the area [and] evacuate the people.”