WHEN SUGAR LOAF MOUNTAIN MOVED
Earl McCloud, Jr., Bishop
Patricia Russell-McCloud, J.D., Supervisor
Sugar Loaf Mountain is a forested mountain in the Western Area of Sierra Leone in West Africa. The capital city of Freetown is built around its lower slopes of the mountain where many makeshift shanty towns are scattered around the hillside.
In the early hours of Monday, August 14, 2017, Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone located in the 14th Episcopal District, was hit by heavy rain, followed by an unprecedented mudslide and massive flooding from Sugar Loaf Mountain which swept everything in its path into the Atlantic Ocean. The area suffered incredible devastation. Over 400 people lost their lives and over the next five years, it is anticipated that more bodies will wash up on the Atlantic shore from this human tragedy.
Sierra Leone is a small nation of 7.4 million people and has been overwhelmed with more than its fair share of tragedies. It has been a time of grief, sympathy, and emergency assistance to a country that has barely recovered from the devastating Ebola epidemic three years ago.
The people of Sierra Leone face a steep road to recovery following this massive mudslide that claimed hundreds of lives and left many without shelter. It is reported that 20,000 people are displaced—around 5,000 of whom are children who need to be cared for and rehoused. Safe drinking water and shelter are the immediate priorities for thousands of people according to the United Nations. One of the main concerns is an outbreak of cholera and malaria.
Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world and they do not have the means to recoup on their own. This is why the 14th Episcopal District, under the leadership of Bishop and Supervisor McCloud established an ongoing GOFUNDME page (https://www.gofundme.com/14thdistrict) and continue to solicit monetary donations worldwide for items such as food, water, bedding, hygiene kits, cleaning supplies, and other items that may not be covered under the Office of National Relief.
To date, the outpouring of love, through your giving, has been immeasurable. We would like to thank those who have given and continue to give. Every act of kindness to others empowers those who may otherwise be denied.