Devastating floods and mudslides in Sierra Leone: Usman Deen Kargbo tells his story

By Kathy Mueller, Canadian Red Cross aid worker currently in Sierra Leone

Usman Deen Kargbo and his familyOvernight on August 14, after several days of torrential rainfall, devastating floods and mudslides occurred in and around Sierra Leone's capital city, Freetown. The most affected areas are in the eastern part of Racecourse, and in the outskirts of Regent and Lumley areas.
The deadly mudslides wiped out several communities in Regent destroying more than 600 homes. More than 500 people are confirmed dead.
Survivors have crowded into schools, partially constructed buildings, mosques, churches and other temporary shelter. More than 1,600 families require urgent humanitarian assistance. With heavy rains continuing through September, conditions may grow worse before they become better.
The Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, in close collaboration with the IFRC and other Movement partners, has been at the forefront of the response with 100 volunteers carrying out search and rescue operations, providing first aid to survivors, distributing emergency supplies and comforting the bereaved.
An Emergency Appeal  has been launched to help 4,600 people in the aftermath of the disaster and to support their long-term recovery needs.
IMG_7186_450.jpgUsman Deen Kargbo, 25, lost the house he shares with his wife and four-month-old daughter when it was buried by a landslide of mud and large boulders, triggered by heavy rains.
Kargbo lives in the shanty town community of Culvert, in the eastern part of the capital of Freetown. He earned a living as an assistant teacher/lecturer; his wife is a small trader selling snacks/candy. He no longer can earn a living as the facility where he teachers is cutting back on staff.

He wants to move away from Culvert, saying it is too dangerous.

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