In a work visit to Kwama Village, the YARDO-SL Team engaged various stakeholders through focus group discussions and personal interviews to investigate the challenges of the community through a need base assessment.
As a result of the mudslide that happened in Freetown on 14th August, 2017 that claimed over 1,000 lives and destroyed hundreds of property, the disaster survivors were located at a Survivors’ Camp at Kwama Village.
Despite Government’s and other development partner efforts to keep the disaster survivors at their new residence, many have illegally returned to their previous environment, the disaster zone. This is mainly because, as many we interviewed have said, their new residence (survivor’s camp) lacks the basic amenities like electricity and water. But most importantly, it lacks the provision of livelihood. People are just sitting idly, perishing in hunger and poverty that has been further augmented by the impact of covid19 on the Sierra Leone economy.
The women’s leader Serah Kargbo stated: Life has been very unfair to us. Before the mudslide, we were all mostly attached to jobs in Freetown where we used to get money to take care of our families. But here, we are left to strand in poverty. There’s job here. This place is far from the city center where we used to hustle for daily survival. Now we just sit all day with no job, no money and no food.
Findings from our community need assessment through a focus group discussion and individual interviews of 50 people out of the 825 residents showed that, the top 3 community needs are prioritized in this order: Skill development, School, Wash promotion.
Based on the findings, YARDO-SL will be working with the community to train and support of its 50 people (mostly women) on skill development. They will be grouped into 3 categories: Tailoring, Soap making and Gara tie dying, said Alpha Dumbuya, YARDO-SL’s program coordinator.
Abubakarr Kamara, the chairman for the community welcomed YARDO-SL intention and highlighted his joy on the purposed intervention. He said, the community is made up of mostly young people especially women, and having to train and support those in livelihood skills will directly help to solve the issue of unemployment and its impact on livelihood. My people are suffering, they can hardly get something to eat. But I am sure, this project will be a life saver. It will empower them to thrive for their livelihood and also contribute to overall growth of our community.
In a plea for help to realize this proposed project happens, Councillor Alima of Ward 379, joined the YARDO-SL Executive Director, Ahmid C Jalloh to call on government and other development partners to support YARDO-SL effort through funding the proposed intervention. She noted that skill development, among other community needs, is of high priority in that particular community. They have just been transferred here, and many are finding reintegration into their new community a major challenge mostly because they are unemployed. But with new skills and support, they will be self-employed, and solve the challenge of catering of their daily livelihoods.
For anyone or any institution interested in supporting this proposed project, please reach out to the following people:
YARDO-SL through Alpha Dumbuya on 077420366
Mudslide Resettlement Community through Community Leader, Abubakarr Kamara on 07812911
WARD 379 Council through Councillor Alima on 078316774
Courtesy: AYV Newspaper 13/06/2021