Sierra Leone: World Bank to Provide Disaster Assessment Report

By Stephen V. Lansana

World Bank Country Manager, Parminder Brar

The World Bank Country Manager, Parminder Brar, has said that the bank has deployed a specialist disaster management team in Freetown to work with the government and other institutions to provide an assessment report on the August 14, 2017 flooding and mudslide.

Brar told a news conference in Freetown on Tuesday August 29, that the report, “disaster and loss assessment report” will be submitted on September 8, 2017.

He said the team will work with United Nations agencies, government and other international and local organizations in a coordinated way to assess the immediate needs of flood victims in the short to medium term.

He said following the flooding and mudslide in Freetown, the Bank dispatched 23 team members led by two disaster management specialists. “Within the period of two weeks the team will conclude its work and present its findings and recommendations to the government,” he emphasized, adding that the second assessment the Bank will undertake is a multi-cities hazardous assessment.

“We know that every year floods happen in the country. We know that issues that relate to land management are problematic. We know that environmental issues are serious concerns in the country,” Brar said.

“We are doing multi-cities hazardous assessment for Freetown, Bo and Makeni cities. We will complete and present multi-cities hazardous assessment in November,” he said.

He explained that as part of the immediate response to the disaster, the World Bank has advised the government that its total support will be US$13 million for the immediate support for the flood and mudslide disaster that occurred in the country. Of this US$10 million will be in the form of a supplemental budget support operation that will flow directly into the government budget. “This will be a grant. An additional US$3million will be provided for existing projects. This will meet immediate needs as well as be used for rebuilding critical infrastructure,” he said

“Very little money went to Guma Valley for dealing with the broken water pipes; very little money went to the Sierra Leone Roads Authority to construct the nine broken bridges,” he said, adding that the Bank has agreed with the government on how the money will be used in supporting these institutions to address those areas.