Tihun Town, Sogbini Chiefdom, Bonthe District, Thursday 15th September 2022 – The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) through its Directorate of Relief and Response with support from the Office of the President, has completed a swift Relief Response to 3,984 flood victims in Bonthe District, Southern Sierra Leone.
On the 3rd – 5th September, 2022, many villages within the Chiefdoms of Kwami Bai Krim, Nongoba Bullum, Gbap, Yowbeko and Sogbini experienced excessive flooding caused by torrential downpour of rains.
Stakeholders within the district notified the NDMA of the flood incidents. The Agency was quick to conduct an assessment to ascertain the affected population, the number of villages affected, and the impact of the floods on livelihood activities.
Most of the victims are smallholder farmers who have jointly worked in corporative to hire tractors to cultivate huge areas of farmlands. The major crops affected are rice, groundnut, and cassava. According to initial report, the floods caused damages of unprecedented scale to agricultural crops, livestock, and fisheries and destroyed household storage, houses, animal sheds, personal seed stocks, fertilizers and agricultural machinery. There has been total disruption of the livelihood of thousands of subsistence farmers. The supply chain of agricultural products and produce has also been cut off due to inaccessible roads that have been flooded.
The NDMA, charged with the mandate to manage disasters and similar emergencies, with support from the Office of the President, has provided every household of the affected population with a Bag of Rice (50 kg), a Gallon of Cooking Oil (20ltrs) and assorted clothing.
Speaking at the distribution event in Tihun Town, Bonthe District Deputy Chairman, Mr Willie A. Parker thanked the NDMA for the quick intervention, encouraging the victims to stay resilient amidst their situation. “I thank the NDMA for their speedy intervention in responding to the victims. I believe that these items will help you get back on your feet as we find a solution to the flooding problem”, he added.
Councilor Rugiatu Sandi of Ward 318 expressed her appreciation and called on the government to support the victims with agricultural items. “We appreciate the government for this support. We are also requesting agricultural commodities such as seeds and tools”, she pleaded.
Director of Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness, Thomas A. Lebbie and Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Abu Bakarr Bangura visited several farms and took baseline data of flooded farms and other affected areas using drones.
According to the Director of Relief and response Sinneh Mansaray, ‘this is the first and major single disaster that has affected thousands of households at the same time, and the NDMA will do everything possible to reach the hardest hit areas to provide relief support’.
The Local Council and stakeholders within the District are closely working with organizations like Sierra Leone Red Cross and other MDAs, to ensure the safety of people and the protection of properties.
The NDMA, through its Directorates of Research (M&E) and Risk Reduction & Preparedness, will continue the damage and loss assessment, caused by the disaster in Bonthe District.
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Directorate of Communication
National Disaster Management Agency