Heavy wind and rain met me as I arrived in Freetown
My first night in Freetown was disturbed by heavy rain, high winds and flashes of lightening. My thoughts went to the residents of Kroo Bay. I wondered how they were coping with the rain once again washing through the community.
May is the start of the rainy season in Sierra Leone. It rains intermittently to start with but becomes incessant during July and August. Last year 37 people in Kroo Bay lost their lives during the rainy season.
This morning we drove to Kroo Bay to see the damage the rains had caused. Although the river was fuller, and there was wet mud lining the higgledy piggledy pathways, luckily the rain hadn’t been as hard in Kroo Bay as where I was staying.
The football pitch was flooded but no-one’s house had been. Usually you see the football made children and adults kicking the ball about continuously, but a water logged pitch means the games stop. For the Kroo Bay players the rainy season signifies the end of the football season, their boots are hung up until the rain stops.
I went to the clinic – next door to the football pitch – where we (Save the Children) are preparing to start renovation work. I met Kadiatu, the lady we followed during pregnancy and the birth of her daughter Kadija, who is now six weeks old.
She had bought her daughter to the clinic for some vaccinations – to protect her against diptheria, hepatitus B and hepatitus A. It was good to meet her beautiful baby girl having followed her story on line. Kadiatu told me that her daughter has been a healthy baby and that she’s not been crying at all. Indeed she hardly uttered a cry as Memunatu, the nurse, administered the vaccination.
I bought some of the hats knitted by the Marie Claire team with me to Kroo Bay and gave one to Kadiatu for her daughter. She was thrilled and sad how happy she was with the pink hat. She told me that during the rains it gets very cold, especially when the water floods into her house so the hat will help keep her little daughter warm.