Reflection on The Rainy Season History in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone was ranked 138 out of 172 in the World Risk Index of countries prone to natural disasters. Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, and Burkina Faso were among the three worse countries where disasters are bound to happen. This forecast has manifested itself in 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, and now in 2022.
Even though flooding has been happing in Freetown and other parts of the country, the situation became worse on September 16th, 2015 when Sierra Leone’s capital city, Freetown, was hit by unprecedented floods caused by torrential rainfall of 600 mm in only 5 hours. The normal average annual rainfall for Freetown is about 2,945 mm, and the total for the wettest month, August, averages about 790 mm. At least four people were said to have been killed and scores injured following torrential rains that day, this was confirmed by the head of Disaster Management, Mary Mye-Kamara.
In 2017, the situation was even worse. on Monday, August 14, 2017, a settlement about 15 miles up the mountains overlooking Freetown, tasted tragic devastation. Over 1,141 people were believed to have been killed or missing and 3000 others were displaced.
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In August 2019, floods and landslides hit Freetown, which were triggered by a heavy and continuous downpour. The raging floods destroyed houses and road networks, and the livelihoods of approximately 896 households (5,381 people), these figures were according to the results of the rapid needs assessment (RNA) conducted by the Office of National Security (ONS) in collaboration with other humanitarian actors in disaster management.
In 2021, Communities in low-lying areas of Freetown were reported to have suffered badly from heavy rain. Many people lost their homes and properties uncounted for.
On the 28th of August 2022, Freetown was brought back to its memories of the previous flooding, after heavy torrential rainfall hit the capital without the meteorological department issuing a warning to hasten evacuations from danger zones. The rain started from midnight to the evening hours causing a lot of problems in the process. In its preliminary update, the office of National Security confirmed that four people died and one hospitalized after a landslide covered two houses at Looking Town, a community in the east end of Freetown. Other communities and major roads were flooded and properties destroyed.
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Government after government has tried to find a solution to the flooding problem, but the more they try to find the said solution the more they are exposed. We are still in the rainy season not ruling out the possibility of something worse. Even if nothing happens again, next year and other years are hanging.