This has just been released by the British government’s Development Ministry – DFID
We are all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life caused by the devastating landslide and flooding in Sierra Leone.
The UK were among the first to respond to this emergency, with British military personnel able to assist at the scene within just hours of the landslip to advise on the emergency response.
A further two world-leading humanitarian experts are being deployed from the UK to provide specialist advice and expertise to help with response efforts and ensure our work has the greatest impact.
The UK is at the heart of crisis co-ordination and we are responding to urgent and emerging needs, including healthcare, water and sanitation. Public Health England is helping the Government to develop a cholera response plan for the next three months to monitor and treat any outbreaks caused by the flooding.
We have offered the Government of Sierra Leone vital humanitarian supplies, including generators and tents, to help those affected and stop the potential spread of disease.
This tragedy comes shortly after the Ebola crisis which Sierra Leone has worked so hard to recover from. The UK was at the forefront in tackling that deadly disease and we remain shoulder to shoulder with Sierra Leone today.
By pre-positioning critical supplies such as food and medicine, as well as providing training on emergency operations, we have enabled the Government of Sierra Leone to respond quickly.
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation has also activated the emergency 117 number, originally supported by the UK and used to report suspicious deaths during the Ebola epidemic, to ensure all those that need community support can access it.
The UK’s leadership in responding to this disaster goes beyond the support provided by the British Government – once again our NGOs and businesses were also quick to step forward to offer vital help.
This includes the START network of NGOs, which the UK provides funding to, who are currently assessing the immediate and longer-term needs on the ground.
It also includes Dawnus, a British construction company, who have also offered the use of specialist equipment to help with recovery.
This is an ongoing and evolving situation of which details are still emerging – we remain open to doing more as a clearer picture is established.