Remembering victims and survivors a year after the worst disaster in our nation’s history - one that claimed upwards of 1000 lives and left more than 6000 displaced - we look back at last year’s national tragedy with 12 blogs from that difficult time.
In those first few chaotic days, a critical 72 hours, local NGOs and CBOs had their own Grenfell moment delivering aid direct to survivors and as the days unfolded and the death toll rose and rose it became clear this was a disaster like no other. It was clear also that some lessons were learnt from the Ebola crisis - the command and control centres, once established, worked well and early Ministry of Health training on cholera identification and prevention averted a widespread outbreak. And UNEP and the environmental protection agency's technical study will help long-term to stabilize the structural integrity of Sugar Loaf mountain.
We were proud to deliver $1080 worth of aid with partners Society 4 Climate Change Communication and Concern 4 Deprived Community Welfare Association who were on the ground from day one providing vital social work support.
But the promise of those early weeks dissipated, life deteriorated for many survivors housed in camps and accountability all but disappeared. With more than 6,000 displaced and many still homeless the promise of permanent homes and direct aid payments went unfulfilled and eviction from temporary camps threatened. Question marks hang over the tens of millions of international aid with some claiming that much directly bolstered pre-election coffers.
We welcome the announcement by President Bio at yesterdays one-year national commemoration service for mudslide and flooding victims for a new National Tourist Memorial Park, at the epicentre of the mudslide at Mortomeh, to honor victims and provide a space for reflection is a fitting remembrance for the many souls that rest at Regent still and directly answers calls from citizens, environmental and community organizations.
Another promising announcement of a Le 8 billion fund to provide Relocation Packages to 86 households in disaster prone 'Red Belt' areas at the foot of Sugar Loaf, gives hope that displaced survivors may yet get justice. And we join calls for the government to honour commitments to survivors - too many still displaced - mental health support and a new home for every family.
You can catch up on our mudslide blogs here:
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