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Vol 58 No 24

Published 1st December 2017

Sierra Leone

A homemade disaster

Toothless state agencies, illegal quarrying and government inaction sowed the seeds of August's deadly mudslide

The government now acknowledges that more than 1,000 people were killed in Freetown when a massive chunk of Mount Sugar Loaf, long degraded by illegal construction and blasting, slid off and buried hundreds of homes on 14 August. Three months on, no official explanation for the disaster has been given, while local media report that 3,000 are homeless and 4,000 more need emergency aid. The tent city created to house those made homeless is due to close soon, and the disaster's victims are being given US$200 and told to go and stay with relatives. This is in spite of President Ernest Bai Koroma's promise to relocate them after receiving millions of dollars in aid.

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