WYCF Emergency Response Work

Emergency Response

Ensuring our children and their families remain safe means facing emergencies alongside them and providing relief. For as long as WYCF has existed and worked in Kroo Bay and George Brook, we have witnessed and worked through extreme, sometimes life-threatening episodes.

Flash Floods

Recurrent Kroo Bay sits on a beachfront and is therefore prone to flooding events. The people living in this community have grown accustomed to this and have adopted a number of habits to cope. However, the level of danger increases at night-time when families are asleep and don’t always realise the water level is rising rapidly around them. When Kroo Bay floods, day or night, all people can do is stand in the highest, safest places they can reach and simply wait it out.

On the 16th September, 2015 WYCF responded to one of the most extreme flooding events that has struck Kroo Bay and other communities in Freetown in recent years. We provided relief by delivering food, clean water, clothes, learning materials and counselling to 302 households.

Mudslides

Recurrent George Brook, like other neighbourhoods set uphill, is predisposed to suffer from a different type of natural disaster – mudslides. In fact, it’s the water and thick, red mud that run down the hills that flood lower-level communities like Kroo Bay with dirty water and rubbish washed down along the city. On the 14th August, 2017 WYCF carried out emergency response work due to the devastating landslide followed by floods that affected several communities in Freetown. The disaster killed an estimated 1,000 people, though many of them remain missing under the layers of mud. 3,000 others found themselves displaced when their homes and properties were buried that morning. WYCF organised a door-to-door mobilisation and donations were distributed across the camps for displaced people and affected communities. A total of 432 affected families were supported. On the 15th August, 2017 WYCF worked with our partner Street Child on a larger scale response to the disaster. Support was delivered in the form of food, bedding and toiletries provisions, as well as counselling and sanitation awareness. Over 10,000 affected people were reached.

Ebola

January – February 2015 In May 2014, the first case of Ebola in Sierra Leone was diagnosed. Both George Brook and Kroo Bay were subject to extensive quarantines and suffered at the hands of the rising cost of living. The incidence of criminal activity is believed to have increased in both communities due to the rise in unemployment, and the occurrence of child labour and prostitution is thought to have amplified due to the lack of regular school activity and household income shortages. View Report  (pdf)

Our solution: – Conduct an Ebola education programme in partnership with Fight For Peace; – Work with ten community-based organisations (CBO) in order reach more households; – Deliver community education training to two members from each CBO with an Ebola specialist from Connaught Hospital (Freetown); – Carry out a house-to-house baseline assessment, Ebola education and post-education assessment programme over the course of three weeks; – Provide emergency relief throughout the Ebola crisis, feeding and supporting quarantined families and Ebola orphans.

The outcomes: – 7,000 people reached in 17 different communities in Freetown; – 5% of people surveyed decided to change their behaviours in favour of Ebola prevention; – 10% of those surveyed placed under quarantine at some point between May 2014 and January 2015; – Emergency relief received by 400+ quarantined individuals in the form of food and water; – Two separate community wide relief days conducted by WYCF in partnership with Street Child during nationwide quarantines, feeding up to 1,000 people.


If you would like to support our Emergency Response fund, please help us fundraise or make a donation. You can also get in touch at any time – we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide more information!