— Begins distribution of relief items to Grand Cape Mount Floods Victims Today
The Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) is galvanizing support to offer personalized recovery support to hundreds of victims impacted by devastating floods that took place in some parts of the country this week — putting the country on the brink of humanitarian crisis resulting from a severe flooding situation in various communities.
The Red Cross case management teams, who have since been deployed to all of the affected counties, are working directly with the victims to discuss their unique needs and help them navigate their recovery journey and access available supports.
It is against this background that the Red Cross, as a pivotal pillar of hope to those in dire need in the affected communities, has launched a local emergency appeal to raise US$20,000 to provide vital assistance.
“We are urgently appealing to the public, organizations, businesses, and government entities to join hands in supporting our emergency appeal fund with a target of US$20,000,” Red Cross Secretary General, Gregory Blamoh said at a press conference in Monrovia on Wednesday, September 6. “This fund will play a crucial role in securing food and non-food items for those affected by the flooding and assist us in extending the much-needed relief to these communities.”
The Red Cross said it will start the distribution of relief items to victims in Cape Mount, the most impacted county, today.
It is no secret that Liberia is currently grappling with an extraordinary amount of rainfall, leading to widespread flooding in many areas of our nation. In this past week alone, there has been a devastating impact on communities, particularly in Kru Town in Robertsport City and several communities in Bong County, including Kpatawee, Rubber Factory, Civil Compound, and Brooklyn. Montserrado County has not been spared of the crisis as many communities on Bushrod Island, including Red Hill, Crawhole, and Doe, are also facing dire consequences.
The Red Cross initial assessment of the multiple hazards including flooding and sea erosion has revealed that the impact is extremely devastating. In Robertsport, 274 people have been registered as affected, while over 189 families, totaling 941 individuals, are displaced from Civil Compound, Brooklyn and Rubber Factory communities in Bong County.
Shockingly, out of these affected families, only 45 are headed by males, while 144 are managed by females in Bong. In Montserrado County, more than 781 people have been impacted, including a tragic incident that involved a child who drowned in the floodwaters.
In these flood-affected counties, homes have been swallowed by the rising waters, leaving families displaced and their livelihoods shattered, the Red Cross said, while essential items such as cooking utensils, clothing, and bedding are lost to the relentless waters and countless families facing displacement. Additionally, sources of drinking water have become contaminated, posing a severe risk to the health and well-being of the affected communities.
The Red Cross, which has already committed US$15,000 to the provision of relief assistance to victims, especially in Cape Mount, said the scale and number of disasters have put a strain on its resources. “This is why we urgently require additional support to continue our operations effectively,” Blamoh said. “We understand the importance of rebuilding not just physical structures but also the spirits of those affected. By providing immediate assistance and support, we aim to restore hope and resilience in these communities, enabling them to rebuild their lives and stand strong against future shocks.”
He said when the additional funds are raised, they will be utilized to secure essential supplies, including food items, clean water, clothing, cooking utensils, and mosquito nets for those in urgent need.
“Our humanitarian efforts are focused on ensuring the affected individuals and communities receive immediate relief and support during these trying times. We are collaborating closely with local authorities, disaster management agencies, and other partners to coordinate our response effectively.”
However, the National Disaster Management Agency's Weather bug predicts continued heavy rainfall is expected throughout September, and it is anticipated that the situation may worsen, leading to more displacement and suffering.
“This is why we want to earnestly call upon individuals, organizations, businesses, government entities, and foreign partners to contribute generously to our emergency appeal fund,” the Red Cross Chief Scribe said. “We need to urgently secure and deliver essential items such as food, clean water, blankets, used clothing, mats, bath soap, hygiene kits, and shelter materials to the affected communities. We urge everyone to join us in this critical mission.”
Initial support to the victims in Cape Mount, which is the worst hit of all the affected communities, has started pouring in since Tuesday. The National Disaster Management Agency has made a donation of 500 bags of 25 KG of rice, and Bea Mountain Mining Corporation provided 50 bags of 25 KG of rice, along with various essential food and nonfood items. The Grand Cape Mount County Health Team made a contribution of 50 mosquito nets.
These efforts, the Red Cross says, are bolstering the overall relief efforts. “The County Health team contribution is a crucial resource in safeguarding the health and well-being of those affected,” the group said.
“We urge everyone to rally behind us in this critical hour. Your support will enable us to extend immediate relief and assistance to the affected communities and help them build resilience against future shocks.,” Blamoh said.
The Red Cross said it is working with households who are unable to return home to their primary residence after the flooding to provide them access to short-term housing and would support and support their transition to longer-term temporary housing. For eligible households that are unable to return to their home and have found temporary housing, the Red Cross is also providing contributions towards the cost of accommodation, in addition to basic needs.