As Torrential Devastates Tombo, Kenema & Pujehun… ONS & Partners overwhelmed

Hundreds of Sierra Leoneans in the Peninsula and the fishing community of Tombo in the Western Area Rural District Council have been submerged with heavy downpour of rain that descended between the hours of 3 to 7 p.m in the evening of Tuesday 6th August, 2019.
Many of the hundreds of displaced residents spent the night in schools and other accommodation jointly provided by the Western Area Rural District Council Chairman, Kasho Joseph Holland Cole, the Navy of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and the Sierra Leone Police.
The various stakeholders say they have communicated with the necessary authorities including the Office of National Security and it is expected that the affected women and children would start to receive support in the next twenty four hours.
Two boats with hundreds of people and goods departing from Kagboroh in the Moyamba district heading for the peninsula town of Tombo, has been reported missing.
The Navy of the Republic of Sierra Leone Military Forces is largely incapable to respond to the reported loss.
The situation was also reported in the Gbetema section and Sesay Street in Kenema City, and the Mayor of Kenema City, Josephn Mbayoh says certain areas in his city have been affected by the flashfloods of Tuesday and called on the ONS and other partners to come to the aid of his people.
In Pujehun, south of Sierra Leone, similar flashfloods have also occurred leaving people homeless and property worth millions missing.
It is becoming evident that the Office of National Security and its partners charged with the responsibility of responding to the flashfloods, are hugely overwhelmed as hundreds of people are affected amidst a prediction by the Meteorological Agency that more torrential rains are expected to hit Freetown’s capital in the next coming days.
The Disaster Response Unit at the Office of National Security is in a transition phase to an agency.
The new government says capacitating the unit to an agency would position it better to respond to natural disasters.
At the moment the unit at ONS is merely a coordinating unit responsible for coordinating various partners but lacks both the engineering and other resources to conduct search, rescue and other disaster related issues.

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