Sierra Leone -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1
Existing Housing in Sierra Leone
The Housing Need
Sierra Leone is a country rich in valuable natural resources, including diamonds. However, a decade of brutal civil war has ravaged the country, leaving 50,000 people dead, countless amputees and many more people displaced. The country has plummeted to one of the poorest in the world and is hugely reliant on international aid.
Since peace was declared in 2002, Sierra Leone has faced the huge challenge of reconstruction. Parts of the country remain without electricity or running water and huge piles of rubbish can be seen on the streets. To add to the country’s problems, in July 2005 a massive flood caused many more communities to loose their homes.
Normal life is gradually being restored, but for most, survival is still a struggle. Unemployment is high and living conditions are poor, with tin shacks being commonplace and five or six people often living in one room.
Habitat for Humanity Sierra Leone (HFHSL)- Closed Program
Habitat for Humanity Sierra Leone had a working partnership with World Relief (WR) since 2005, but the partnership came to an end in 2006. During this period, Habitat for Humanity and World Relief managed to house 600 returning refugees in the district of Kailahun. This project also included those families who were in temporary housing in one of the communities worst hit by the floods which struck in 2005.
Participation by families in rebuilding their own, permanent homes provided them with not only a physical but psychological anchor to face the daunting challenge of re-establishing livelihoods lost after so many years in exile and conflict.
Habitat for Humanity has no plans to continue building houses in Sierra Leone in the near future.
Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia
Population: 5.3 million
Economy: Main exports are diamonds, cocoa, coffee, fish
Government: Constitutional democracy
Religions: Islam, Christianity, indigenous beliefs
Languages: English, Krio (Creole language derived from English) and a range of African languages