September 4, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) has called for a right-based approach in all interventions of the August 14 mudslide and flood disaster, especially in the holding centres and the proposed resettlement of affected persons to designated areas.
The flooding and mudslide in the early hours of August 14, 2017, left hundreds of Sierra Leoneans in various communities, including Mount Sugar Loaf and Kaningo dead with some three thousand currently homeless. The disaster is the worst to have struck the country for decades. Over 500 bodies have so far being buried at Waterloo with several hundred yet to be seen.
The commission, in a press release, said it was saddened by the floods and mudslide disaster and expressed profound condolence to the bereaved families and all those affected by the unforgettable disaster.
The HRC-SL commended the interim measures taken by government and its development partners in providing a dignified state burial to the dead, basic humanitarian services and proposed resettlement of affected persons.
However, some human rights concerns were observed by the country’s human rights body during monitoring of the interim holding centres.
They highlighted poor sanitation and hygiene conditions, lack of privacy, overcrowding, bedding constraints, poor dietary standards and improper and unverified registration of unaffected persons in the holding centres.
They applauded the goodwill messages and donations from Presidents of other countries, non-governmental organizations, business enterprises, religious organizations, financial institutions, philanthropists and individuals towards mitigating the hardship caused by the floods and mudslide disaster.