When the deadly flood and mudslide hit Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown in August, Kadiatu Sesay, 22, had the future of not one, but two people to worry about. She was seven months pregnant when her entire house was submerged by the flood waters.
''I was lucky to be awake that day when water gushed into our house. I was very tired, though. But I smelled trouble. At that particular point in time, life was most precious to me. So I quickly rushed out of the house leaving everything we had. My husband was away that morning. Within the space of five minutes, the entire house was submerged by water,” she said.
She wondered how her unborn child would be welcomed when she had just two months until she would deliver with no home, no bed, and no supplies for her baby. Kadiatu was especially worried about the health of her child.
“As a pregnant woman, I am learning that whatever affects me affects my unborn child. I have been sleeping on the bare floor in the open with cold constantly disturbing me, starving since the emergency. One mosquito bite is enough to infect me and my child with malaria. And if I don't eat well, my baby will be equally affected,'' she said.
She continued ''In all of this, I was restless. I kept asking myself how is life going to be like for my unborn child? We had no place to sleep, no bed or mattress to lie on, no blanket to cover in the cold.”
A recent World Vision distribution was able to meet some of those basic needs. As part of its immediate relief efforts, the Christian humanitarian organization has distributed relief supplies to communities affected by the twin disaster, including Culvert communities. Kadiatu received supplies like mattresses, blankets, buckets, a solar powered lantern, tarpaulin, cooking utensils, toiletries, sanitary pads and other household items.
“I am short for words! Part of my prayer has been answered. I appreciate these items so much. They are just some of the basic things we have been praying for. Now I can sleep with less to worry about. When my child is born, he/she will have something to lie on. Some of these items like the bucket and water purification powder, I will keep until my child is born,'' she said.
This donation to Culvert community was made possible through an additional $ 400,000 USD financial contribution of Belinda Gates Foundation. Find out more about Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation here.
World Vision is also working with the Government of Sierra Leone to provide counselling and support for children affected by the disaster, while also providing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in affected areas, including Culvert.