LDS Church helps mudslide victims in Sierra Leone

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

LDS Church helps mudslide victims in Sierra Leone

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Posted - Aug. 31, 2017 at 6:58 a.m.



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FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — The LDS Church in Sierra Leone has delivered supplies to 105 families after a devastating mudslide Aug. 14 killed at least 1,000 and left many more homeless.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Dwarzak congregation in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, helped the families by distributing mattresses, food, water and other supplies.

LDS Charities, the church’s humanitarian division, assisted the 500 members of the Freetown congregation with distributing supplies to the families, most of whom are not members of the church. About 500 people were helped.

Three days of heavy rain triggered the mudslide near Freetown.

Dwarzak Bishop John Titus O’Neil said members of the church went door-to-door to determine which families were most in need of aid.

"The (delivery) process went very well," O'Neil said. "The government provided security, our members provided labor and all the victims in our area were satisfied. There are now smiles on faces of people who were filled with despair.”

People receiving help from the church either had homes destroyed or were significantly damaged in the mudslide. The church will provide additional relief in Sierra Leone as local leaders identify more needs.

Freetown city official Shiaka Lamin Dumbuya thanked the church for its service.

“On behalf of the government and His Excellency, the President of Sierra Leone, we say kudos to your Church and its members,” Dumbuya said.

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