UNDP – relief to recovery

Sep 15, 2017

UNDP team meets with staff from the Meteorological Agency. © UNDP Sierra Leone

As recovery rolls out one month after the emergency response to the 14 August landslide and floods, UNDP will continue to work with the Government of Sierra Leone moving towards sustainable and inclusive risk informed development.

What have we done?

UNDP has provided technical and practical support to the Office of National Security (ONS), donating computers, generators, rain gear, printers, stationery, communication cards and furniture that enabled first responders in the immediate rescue efforts of emergency coordination centers.

The National Security Coordinator at the ONS, Mr. Ismail S T Tarawali commended UNDP for its timely support to ONS, and highlighted past and present support efforts, including strengthening the capacity of the Disaster Management Department in the ONS, through the UNDP supported and Global Environment Facility funded “Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems Project”:

“UNDP has always been a dependable partner in supporting technically and logistically over the years. In post-conflict times, national security times and our response to natural and manmade disasters.”

In addition to practical support, UNDP with the World Bank have been designated as co-leads in national recovery efforts.

What now?  

With the World Bank, UNDP aim to ensure disaster risk mitigation in the event of future floods and landslides.

In this direction, the World Bank and UNDP are currently supporting the review of a hazard profile of Sierra Leone, with the World Bank effort focusing on Freetown, Makeni and Bo. UNDP is also supporting the development of a website and an online Climate Information, Disaster Management and Early Warning Systems (CIDMEWS) web portal. Once fully developed, access to real-time and improved climate information will be readily available, including early warnings to end-users and disaster-prone communities. The website and CIDMEWS web portal will be launched in the coming weeks.

Additionally, UNDP is supporting the strengthening of legal frameworks that reinforce early warning systems, as well as the establishment of public and private partnerships for the dissemination of climate information.  

Furthermore, with support from UNDP, 8 staff of the Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency have commenced a twelve month medium level meteorological technicians training, at the Regional Meteorological Research and Training Institute, a World Meteorological Organization Training Centre) in Nigeria. This is expected to improve the capacity of the SLMA in weather forecasting and observations, data analysis and communication.

Providing long-term technical assistance to the Sierra Leone Environmental Protection Agency (EPA-SL), the government entity mandated to lead the development of an environmental risk assessment and hazard identification, UNDP will welcome a urban risk reduction expert, a debris management specialist, and a short-term geo-technical landslide expert to provide additional support to the EPA-SL team. In addition, the CO has also requested the deployment of a GIS expert through a standby partner. 

Under national leadership, a three-fold Risk Management and Recovery Action Plan will be developed to support Government and partners make evidence-based decisions for the immediate, medium and long-term issues around settlement planning and sustainable urbanizations, as well as outline approaches to address meteorological and environmental challenges, and leverage existing work around hazard assessment for risk-informed decision making nationally.