Sierra Leone

Over half a million people in Freetown do not have access to the central water network

Country Overview

The people of Sierra Leone face a range of humanitarian challenges, from limited infrastructure for providing safe drinking water or sanitation improvements, to rampant hunger and very high infant mortality rates. In response, the government developed a strategy to prioritize four key areas: improving access to electricity, developing a national transportation network, increasing productivity in agriculture and aquaculture, and taking on the nation’s social and humanitarian challenges.

In 2010, the government made a sizeable investment in its public health efforts, instituting a Free Health Care initiative in which pregnant and nursing mothers and children under five years of age receive access to free health care. The programme has made significant progress and now serves as a model for other African nations seeking effective public health investments.

Whilst improvements have been made, the majority of the country’s infrastructure is outdated and supply shortages are common. Inadequate sanitary conditions have contributed to repeated outbreaks of diarrhoeal disease, which remains one of the leading causes of infant mortality.

Sierra Leone is the country worst affected by the Ebola epidemic, which hit West Africa in 2014 and has claimed thousands of lives. This epidemic has put harvests at risk and sent food prices soaring in the region. As Ebola spreads, the number and severity of malnourished children in Sierra Leone and Liberia will rise.

People we helped in 2016

What we are doing

Action Against Hunger has been present in Sierra Leone since 1991, supporting national and local authorities in addressing the causes and treatments of malnutrition. Our teams have been working on post-Ebola recovery programmes in Sierra Leone, focusing on hygiene, access to clean water and implementing sanitation systems mainly in in Freetown. Currently over half a million people in Freetown do not have access to the central water network and are reliant on decentralised water supplies.

More recently, our water, sanitation and hygiene programmes have expanded to ensure access to clean drinking water, sanitation, and preventive measures in mitigating cholera outbreaks.

We are also working closely with health and aid agencies in the country to stop the spread of Ebola. We’re educating communities about the virus, training community health workers on how to detect and refer suspected Ebola patients, improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and building national capacity to respond to the virus and prevent it from spreading. 


Help us continue to save lives in Sierra Leone & around the world

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