The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sierra Leone has come to the aid of some 500 people impacted by a recent mudslide that has killed 1,000 people and left thousands more homeless. With the help of LDS Charities (the Church’s humanitarian arm), local Mormons and community leaders have delivered mattresses, food, water and other life-sustaining supplies to 105 families. Almost all of these families are not Mormon.
Three days of heavy rain in the West African nation of 7 million triggered flash floods and a massive mudslide August 14, 2017, around the capital city of Freetown. The homes of those receiving the Church’s assistance are either destroyed or received significant damage.
“We were pleased to see local leaders assess the needs and then access the resources of the Church to fulfill those needs,” said Elder Don Carley, a Church welfare specialist. “Many lives are being blessed because of their efforts.”
John Titus O’Neil, leader of the Church’s Dwarzak congregation, said “the [delivery] process went very well. 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.”
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.