LDS Church Members Help Mudslide Victims in Sierra Leone

Contributed By MormonNewsroom.org

  • 31 August 2017

Three days of heavy rain in Sierra Leone triggered flash floods and a massive mudslide on August 14 around the capital city of Freetown.

After a recent mudslide in Sierra Leone killed 1,000 people and left thousands more homeless, members of the Church have come to the aid of some 500 people in the area. With the help of LDS Charities (the Church’s humanitarian arm), local members and community leaders have delivered mattresses, food, water, and other life-sustaining supplies to 105 families. Almost all of these families are not members of the Church.

Three days of heavy rain in the West African nation of 7 million triggered flash floods and a massive mudslide on August 14 around the capital city of Freetown. The homes of those receiving the Church’s assistance are either destroyed or received significant damage.

John Titus O’Niel, bishop of the Dwarzak Ward in Freetown, went door to door with other local leaders to determine who in their area needed help the most. They then submitted their list of families in need to LDS Charities.

“The [delivery] process went very well,” Bishop O’Niel said. “The government provided security, our members provided labor, and all the victims in our area were satisfied. There are now smiles on faces of people who were filled with despair.”

Elder Don Carley, a Church welfare specialist, said he was “pleased to see local leaders assess the needs and then access the resources of the Church to fulfill those needs. Many lives are being blessed because of their efforts.”

Local members of the Church in Sierra Leone helped deliver supplies following a devastating mudslide in that area.

Noting the Church’s “timely intervention,” Freetown city official Shiaka Lamin Dumbuya thanked the Church for its service.

“On behalf of the government and His Excellency, the President of Sierra Leone, we say kudos to your Church and its members,” Dumbuya said.

The Church will provide additional relief in Sierra Leone as needs are identified by local leaders.

Three days of heavy rain in Sierra Leone caused flooding and triggered a devastating mudslide August 14, 2017.

Local members of the Church in Sierra Leone helped deliver supplies following a devastating mudslide in that area.

Local members of the Church in Sierra Leone helped deliver supplies following a devastating mudslide in that area.

Local members of the Church in Sierra Leone helped deliver supplies following a devastating mudslide in that area.