Authorities from the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) have had their first encounter with the press after the directive from the Hon. Chief Minister, Jacob Jusu Saffa, which accorded the Agency the responsibility for flood mitigation in the country, in fulfilment of the May 16, 2022 declaration. On Thursday 26th May, 2022 the officials from the NDMA updated the Media on a National Flood Mitigation Plan at the Ministry of Information and Communication’s weekly press briefing at the MIC Conference Room, Youyi Building in Freetown.
NDMA’s Director of Research, Monitoring & Evaluation, Abubakarr Bangura and the Director of Risk Reduction & Preparedness, Thomas A. Lebbie as well as Success S. Kamara, Public Relations Manager, Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency, spoke in detail to the issues in a PowerPoint presentation. Among other things, the presentation on the National Flood Mitigation Plan revealed that NDMA held its first Flood Mitigation Meeting at the Conference Hall of NDMA’s Headquarters at Aberdeen, Freetown, on the 22nd of May, 2022 and after that has done the necessary risk and hazard assessment and identified and categorized 54 Critical Areas and 48 High Risk Areas for a Five (5) day coordinated cleaning exercise.
The Agency also gave an update on all the disasters that happened last year whilst showcasing the potential disasters that NDMA had mitigated. “It is very evident that last year whilst we were preparing for floods in Freetown and other areas that are prone to disaster, we had more fire incidents during the raining season than floods” Director Lebbie asserted. Analysing the cleaning process, the Director of Research, Monitoring & Evaluation, Abubakarr Bangura narrated how household debris are being deposited into drainages and gutters from residents living in the hillside communities only for those deposited rubbish to cause major blockages to waterways flowing downhill, leading to flooding.
“For example, Bollore has annually spent a lot of money to clear drainages in the Moa Wharf Community. But after those cleaning exercises, waste is deliberately deposited into the same drainages by unscrupulous individuals, especially at night. Therefore we need the media for sensitization and community engagements in order to enhance behavioural change” he said. Speaking on the National Flood Mitigation Plan, the Director of Risk Reduction & Preparedness, Thomas A. Lebbie, spoke about NDMA’s Short, Medium and Long Term Plans for Flood Mitigation. He said NDMA is designed to work with various MDA’s, Partners and Community stakeholders as part of its mandate. He revealed that the Short Term Plan is the Five (5) days cleaning exercise which shall be sustained by SLRA’s Twenty (20) days cleaning exercise.
“Our plan to engage all the relevant MDAs on Waste Management Policies and Regulations is our Medium Term Plan whilst our Long Time Plan is to engage the Sectors responsible for the production and marketing of plastics in order for them to migrate from Plastic production to Paper” He stressed. The PRO of SL Met, Success S. Kamara, spoke about the Seasonal Outlook and how they provide NDMA with qualitative and quantitative technical data for proper disaster management and other related emergencies.
Questions from the media were provided with answers by NDMA’s Director of Communications, Mohamed L. Bah who is expected to engage the media further on the National Flood Mitigation Plan in coming weeks. What is clearer from all of these engagements is that the Government of Sierra Leone continues to adopt proactive measures to ensure that the country is disaster free.


Request a service