Facts and Figures
71,740 km sq
Sierra Leone is prone to recurring natural disasters, particularly flooding, landslides and mudslides as a result of high levels of precipitation, occurring on a yearly basis. The Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) has made disaster preparedness and risk management one of its top priorities. To deliver on this priority, the Government has requested IOM’s assistance in strengthening its capacity, especially that of the Office of National Security (ONS). IOM’s Internal Development Fund (IDF) project targets officials of ONS in 3 districts prone to disasters as well as other stakeholders, such as the district councils, Sierra Leone Red Cross and Sierra Leone Police, which take crucial roles at the operational level whenever natural disasters occur.
The overall objective of the IDF project is to contribute towards enhancing national efforts in disaster preparedness and response in line with the objectives of the “National Disaster Risk Management Policy” and “National Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Strategy and Action Plan.”
The community based disaster risk management activity is one such activity contained in the IDF project to deliver on the objectives of the project. In delivering on the Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) activity, an assessment was conducted in 18 communities in the Western Area, Pujehun and Kenema districts.
Community Based Assessments with The CBDRM
The aim of the assessments was to identify the hazards, as well as the vulnerability and capacity of the targeted communities, which will give us an idea of the hazard situation in the communities and also helps us tailor our DRR training to community volunteers in a manner that fits the local contexts.
The CBDRM Trainings
Following the CBDRM assessments, 10 communities were selected for the CBDRM trainings from the 18 communities assessed. The first of ten CBDRM trainings was conducted at Portee community in Freetown from 27th-29th November, 2018. The aim of the CBDRM trainings is to provide practical knowledge to community volunteers in identifying the hazards that exist in their communities, as well as understanding the elements that exacerbate their communities’ vulnerability to the hazards, and provide them the appropriate knowledge to build their capacities in mitigating /prevent and respond to disaster incidents; thereby reducing their vulnerabilities and strengthen their coping capacities to the disasters that threaten their communities.