Sierra Leone floods death toll passes 400: Red Cross


"We can not wait for tomorrow for the burial, as was suggested by government, because most of the bodies are decomposing", he said.

The government has hired 600 gravediggers for burials in a cemetery that holds victims of the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak that killed thousands in the country.

The UN Children's Fund said that it is providing emergency sanitation and safe drinking water, including by installing rain harvesting facilities and building latrines. More than 600 are still missing.

The displaced are still sleeping outside "because there are not enough shelters for everybody", he said.

The first mass burials of victims of Sierra Leone's devastating floods and mudslides took place yesterday, as blame grew over government "inaction" over deforestation and poor urban planning.

"The death toll is climbing by the day", Elhadj As Sy, secretary-general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told reporters in Geneva.

"We all saw and heard the news about the disaster and it was only good for Ghana to demonstrate a sense of solidarity towards our friends in Sierra Leone", he added. "The worldwide community must follow our lead and step up to the plate", said Britain's global Development Secretary Priti Patel. The country is a former British colony. Over 600 people are still feared missing and almost 1,600 families have been affected by the mudslide, a statement by the organisation said.

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According to humanitarian agencies, current estimates indicate that as many as 3,000 have been made homeless, although this figure is expected to rise.

On a day of mourning, a Red Cross official warned that smaller mudslides had occurred since Monday in eastern Freetown and in Sierra Leone's second city of Bo, with the rainy season far from over.

Meanwhile the West Africa Health Organisation, WAHO, the Health Institution of the regional bloc ECOWAS, is donating a sum of 300,000 dollars to the government of Sierra Leone in the wake of the disaster.

The Red Cross put the death toll at 409 after flooding and mudslides shook Freetown on Monday morning.

People continue to search through tons of mud and debris amid the threat of further mudslides. Rainfall is in the forecast for the coming days, slowing recovery efforts.

Also the United Kingdom has sent their condolence message to the government and people of Sierra Leone following the tragic events of August 14 in Freetown and the surrounding areas.