The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) on Sunday 15th August 2021 through its Directorates of Risk Reduction and Preparedness, and Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, visited Bololo Community (Back of Syke Street), to assess the magnitude of damage caused by a cracked building that was reported by NDMA community volunteers.
According to the Director of Risk reduction and Preparedness who doubled as Team Lead, Thomas Lebbie, said the cause of the crack was as a result of the fact that “Bololo” is a clustered community with no proper drainage system to enable free flow of water whenever it rains.
He also noted that the cracked house (almost collapsing) is situated on the top of a sloppy hill close to a very wide waterway that runs from Savage Street; and that because there is no proper drainage system in place, the water has been making way for itself beneath the house over time, which caused some erosions that forced the crack, which poses threat to life and property.
Director Lebbie concluded by appreciating the selfless services of NDMA’s community volunteers for always drawing NDMA’s attention to both natural and human hazards in their respective communities for appropriate action.
Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluations, Abu Bakarr Bangura, said they have assessed the house and gave directives for immediate evacuation of all persons residing therein. “We have not only given directives for immediate evacuation, we have ensured that the affected persons comply with this directive. Let me also express my profound gratitude to the neighborhood, for coming to the rescue of the victims especially the kids, to allow them in their homes temporarily”, Director Bangura noted.
The assessment report will be presented to management on Monday to determine further action(s) by NDM. Furthermore, the National Disaster Management Agency notes with concern the persistent downpour of rain in the last 72 hours in Freetown and its environs with no major threat so far.
The Hazard and Risk Profile System (HARPIS) Sierra Leone and other prior risk assessments done in Freetown had identified 72 disaster risk zones. Volunteers working in these identified risk communities have been giving feedbacks on happenings in their respective communities.
Since the start of August, the Agency has received reports of 4 fire accidents, 3 slope and building collapses, and cracked boulders sitting dangerously near dwelling homes. The Agency has responded with community sensitization, drone imagery to assess risk and voluntary evacuation in some instances.
Though there has been no loss of life, but due to the considerable loss of property and livelihoods, the Agency notes that negligent human actions are the main causes of these risks/hazards that can easily generate to disasters. These are varied, ranging from building on dangerous slopes, rock quarrying on dangerous slopes, building on waterways, mud banking and faulty electrical connections etc. The Agency is generating data on these issues that will inform decisions and actions.
The National Disaster Management Agency is advising citizens to act responsibly for the safety and security of their own lives and properties. The agency will continue working with these communities and other state and non-state actors to mitigate these risks and respond where disasters occur.