Human Angle

Sierra Leone appeals for aid for 7.000 victims of devastating fire

Over7,000 ex-residents of a slum in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, destroyed by fire last week, require emergency assistance, the country’s disaster management agency reported on Monday.

On the evening of March 24, a fire completely destroyed the slum of Susan’s Bay, on the Atlantic Ocean, one of the largest in the city. The authorities have not recorded any deaths but 409 people were injured and 7,093 people were affected by the disaster.

Almost three-quarters, 73% of disaster victims sleep outside, while 16% stay with host families and 5% in their homes, according to the disaster management agency. The government has pitched 53 tents and is currently providing water to around 5,000 people, according to Sinneh Mansaray.

Of this district of barracks built on unsanitary land reclaimed from the sea, on the edge of the historic center, there are only piles of metal sheets and rare walls blackened by smoke. Despite a soil full of diamonds, Sierra Leone, a former British colony, is one of the poorest countries on the planet.

Sisanda Mpiti.

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