On the morning of August 14, 2017, significant mudflow events occurred at Mortormeh in the capital city of Freetown in Sierra Leone. It all started with three days of torrential rainfall coupled with inimical human activities that caused a huge quantum of mud and rocks to slide and destroyed hundreds of buildings beneath whilst killing 1,141 people and leaving more than 3,000 homeless.
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone, the Senior Adviser to the President, Ambassador Raymond de Souza George noted that Five years ago today, Sierra Leone was made to morn the loss of hundreds of her people by the unexpected and sudden reaction of nature due to human treatment of it.
He continued that amongst those lost were heads of families, breadwinners, members of different organizations, persuasions, tribes and ethnicity from all walks of life.
“Sierra Leone in general lost people, residents of Mortormeh lost loved ones. The tragedy isn’t selective, ‘E no de pik en chuz.’ So, when nature reacted, Sierra Leoneans of various creeds and tribes lost their lives on that day.”
As he sympathized with those affected and their families, he urged everyone to be law abiding and do the right things always in order to protect the environment and mitigate disaster.
“We should advocate, advise, and challenge others, ourselves included, to DO THE RIGHT THING! And by doing so, we can ensure that nature never gets angry with us again.” He added.
The Officiating Clergy, Rev. Father Tommy recognized the painful and excruciating situation experienced by the country, especially the affected population.
He also referenced the negative interaction with the environment that resulted in the devastating landslide that led to the death of hundreds of people and the displacement of thousands that were housed in displaced camps.
NDMA’s Deputy Director General, John V. Rogers dilated on the mandate, roles and responsibilities of the Agency as he reiterated the need for adherence to laws and collaboration of everyone in the country.
“NDMA which was established by an act of Parliament in 2020 is mandated to manage disasters and similar emergencies throughout Sierra Leone and to build the capacity of communities, focus on disaster risk reduction and preparednesses; and effectively respond when disasters strike.” He disclosed.
The ceremony was attended by the general public, Government officials, partners, local community leaders, youths and women leaders.