The tragedy that took place on the 14th of August, 2017 in Regent village happened to be the biggest mudslide in the history of Sierra Leone, similar to another that happened in 1945 with ten houses swept away in that community. The British colony by then relocated and banned dwelling in that area. Overpopulation has caused people to go back to that prohibited, unsafe community and built houses. Eventually, this catastrophe struck once again and left more than 600 lives missing and 500 corpses been buried in the Waterloo cemetery, where the Ebola corpses were buried in 2014.
The majority affected individuals were women and girls who got their livelihoods from small and medium sized (SMEs) enterprises. These women and girls were in dare need of urgent recovery from the disaster.
The project provided support in the areas of small business development, market information, management as well as record keeping, financial literacy and financial management capacity building. The intervention consisted of the implementation of a fully comprehensive business development and knowledge transfer training which lead to the establishment of small or medium enterprises (SMEs) as a means of providing livelihood incomes to the survivors. 80% of women were targeted for this support and 20% men.
At the completion of the training, the 600 beneficiaries/participants received an equivalent of one hundred dollars (US $100) each through special bank accounts specifically created for them as a start-up capital that enabled them to start a new small business enterprise that is conducive for commerce such as local convenience stores, mobile credit re-sellers, food stalls and small green enterprise start-ups.
The essence of the start-up capital/income was for them to be economically viable and independent even as they recover from the shock encountered as a result of the mudslide and flooding.