In response to a catastrophic mudslide and flooding in and around Freetown, Restless Development Sierra Leone have mobilised 100 young leaders to gather vital data on the needs of affected communities.
Early reports indicate that there is an urgent need for a range of basic provisions as well as long term planning for community support and rehabilitation.
Francis Kaikumba, Restless Development Director based in Freetown, said:
"The flooding in Freetown has had devastating effects across the city, and has directly affected our work in three communities.
"We are quickly gathering vital information from those communities most in need. A hundred young leaders are working in the four most affected areas, collecting essential data to help establish the number of people affected and the scale of support needed to respond. By working directly with affected communities, we can ensure the humanitarian response from the government and aid agencies matches their needs.
"I can confirm that all staff and volunteers with Restless are safe, and I’d like to thank our friends and partners around the world for their concern and ongoing support. Our thoughts are with all those affected by the incident."
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What happened in Freetown, Sierra Leone?
Nearly 400 people have been killed and hundreds more are missing after muddy rubble swept through the Regent area near the capital, Freetown, on Monday.
How is Restless Development involved in the response?
Restless are a international development organisation with an extensive network of young volunteers in Sierra Leone. In 2015, almost two thousands young volunteers responded to the Ebola crisis to help end the outbreak.
In response to the latest floods, Restless volunteers are collecting data to help inform the humanitarian response.
After the flooding that occurred in Freetown in 2015, Restless Development volunteers and young leaders provided information on sanitation, disease prevention, and personal safety.
What is the data showing so far?
Early indications are that people who have been displaced by the flood waters are in urgent need of mattresses and bedding, clothing, and basic provisions including food, money, and toiletries.
Once basic needs have been addressed, Restless Development Sierra Leone will plan community support and rehabilitation to help them rebuild their lives in the coming weeks and months.
How are we collecting the data?
We are using U-Report technology and have designed a brief series of questions to be answered via SMS as our young people interview community members. This will help to quickly collate the information into a database that can be easily analysed.
This information will be shared with the Sierra Leonean government, as we work closely with their emergency response team to ensure that communities get the support that they require most.