Emergency Response to Fire Incident at Kroo Bay
A fire incident that took place on the 4th March, 2019, hit Kroo Bay community. Kroo Bay is situated on the coast of central Freetown with informal settlements that covers over 20 acres of land that keeps growing every day. It has an estimated population of over 13,000 people with 2622 households with very little or no facilities required for human dignity. 95% of the population lives below the poverty line.
The fire was caused by a mosquito coil that fell on a table and burst into flames. There is no vehicular access to the slum and the sea level was completely dry to help put off the fire. According to the Office of National Security a population of 1,283 (385 households) are directly affected (70% are women and children). Furthermore, no death have been reported but six cases of minor injuries and ten major injuries have been reported.
Until now, only blankets and few food materials have been provided by Government. Regarding their immediate needs, they stressed that shelter is their prime priority now. Für Sierra Leone e.V. donates € 10.000 as a part of a project with the Welthungerhilfe, to provide corrugated sheets, sticks and nails to put an immediate roof over their heads. They are willing to provide the labour to build these structures.
Humanitarian agencies such as UNICEF, Oxfam, Welthungerhilfe, CRS, ICRC and Save the Children have made visit to the affected community in order to ascertain the magnitude of the disaster. Currently, ONS (Office of National Security) is coordinating Aid for the affected population and as of now, the affected population have received rice, cooking utensils and foam mattress from ONS as donation from some INGOs.
The main needs expressed by the affected population during the visit were:
- Water Supply: Two water kiosks (installed by Guma) are the major source of water supply for the affected community but are not functional due to damage pipelines. During the fire disaster, one of the 10,000 liters plastic tanks was seriously damaged beyond repairs
- Sanitation: There are two existing public toilets in the affected community with no individual latrines for defecation. Out of the two existing public toilets, only one is functional
- Food and other essential needs (clothes, blankets, hygiene sets)