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Disasters, Conflicts and Migration

Natural Disasters

Yes / No

Comments / Details


YesSierra Leone’s dependence on slash-and-burn practices coupled with rising population density and lack of available land,
make traditional methods of agriculture unsustainable in the long term, as within this system, land needs to lie fallow for some seven years.



15 years ago   4.4 magnitude, 10 km depth

Koindu, Eastern Province, Sierra Leone


YesEbola outbreak in 2014/15, Measles, Malaria, Yellow fever, Cholera, Lassa fever, Dengue fever, Typhoid fever

Extreme Temperatures



YesDuring the rainy season

Insect Infestation

YesRice stem borers


YesDuring the rainy season

Volcanic Eruptions


High Waves / Surges

YesWith 402 km of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, high waves should always be taken into consideration as a potential risk.


YesWild or bush fires are one of the biggest causes of forest destruction and land degradation in the country.

High Winds

YesSand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February).

Man-Made Issues

Civil Strife

YesFrom 1991 to 2002

International Conflict

YesWith Liberia and Sierra Leone during the civil strife

Internally Displaced Persons

NoAt the present, there are no IDPs in the country.

Refugees Present

YesApproximately 690 Liberian refugees

Landmines / UXO Present


For more a detailed database on disasters in Sierra Leone, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters Database

Calamities and Seasonal Affects

Seasonal Affects on Transport



From (month) to (month)

Primary Road Transport

Yes, some potholes might appear during the rainy season since most of the primary road is not paved.May to October

Secondary Road Transport

Yes greatly affected during the rainy season since none is pavedMay to October

Rail Transport


Air Transport

Heavy rain during the rainy season and the Harmattan wind during the dry season might affect or disturb the air transport

May to October / January to March

Waterway Transport

Limited during the dry season as the water level decreases.November to May

There are two seasons in the year; the Rainy season from May to October and the Dry Season from November to April. The rainy season has impact on road conditions, especially the secondary and feeders which are dirt roads and could become impracticable due to the heavy rain and the traffic of heavy trucks. 


Seasonal Affects on Storage and Handling (economic, social, climate…)



From <month> to <month>






May to October


The heavy rain during the rainy season could delay the handling of cargoes. In the country, there is a lack of adequate storage facilities. Combined with the inaccessibility of some areas due to the bad roads it is recommended to pre-stock before the rainy season.

Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response


The Office of National Security (ONS) is the government entity entitled to manage disasters by its National Disaster Department. In addition to an opaque mandate, this entity lacks resources and capacity. During the Ebola outbreak, which was considered a health crisis, the president established a new entity called the National Ebola Response Centre headed by the Minister of Defense (CEO) and seconded by the ex-Minister of Social Welfare. The NERC is supposed to operate until the end of 2015 before handing over its operations to the MoH and ONS. The military assets could be used in a potential emergency situation. 

To access the Government Contact List, please click on the following link: 4.1 Sierra Leone Government Contact List

Humanitarian Community

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Sierra Leone consists of all the 17 UN agencies, funds and programmes in Sierra Leone. The UNCT works “as one” to support Sierra Leone in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sierra Leone’s own national development agenda, or “Agenda for Prosperity” through a people-centred, rights-based approach to development as outlined in the Joint Vision of the UN Family for Sierra Leone – 2009-2012 and the Transitional Joint Vision – 2013-2014. The UNCT is currently led by UN Resident Coordinator interim and FAO Resident Representative for the Republic of Sierra Leone. 

To access the Humanitarian Contacts Contact List, please click on the following link: 4.2 Sierra Leone Humanitarian Agency Contact List