Round-up: Updates from Dominica and Sierra Leone

The Round-up offers a weekly sample of what our sister Red Cross Societies are working on around the world.

DOMINICA: The island of Dominica sustained significant damage due to the passage of Tropical Storm20150904_photos_caribbean_tt-erika_1-(2).jpg Erika on August 28. A band of torrential rain caused by the system resulted in the deposit of 6 to 8 inches of rain in less than 12 hours and triggered massive flooding and several landslides.  The Dominica Red Cross continues to provide immediate relief through the distribution of food and water to walk-ins and other requests for assistance. The National Society indicated that current supplies include household supplies for up to 300 families. A limited number of hygiene kits and cleaning kits are also available. Digicel and the Coast Guard have made boats available to reach communities that are not accessible by land.

SIERRA LEONE: Radio is a medium that can reach the most people in Sierra Leone. The Red Cross often broadcasts messages on proper hygiene practices and other important issues to reach a wide audience.  Statistics indicate that 80 per cent of people across the country have access to one. Television is still a very expensive item, electricity is scarce, and many do not read newspapers because the illiteracy rate is high. But people also need to buy batteries for the radio which creates an additional financial burden for each struggling family. To address this, the Red Cross recently distributed 3,000 radios to various communities in all 14 districts of the country. The radios are solar powered and wind-up. With solar energy abundant in Sierra Leone, like many regions in Africa, it made handing out radios the most sensible option.

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