These Photos Reveal The Grim Reality Of Ebola In Sierra Leone

For the last two years, writer and photographer Tommy Trenchard has been documenting life in Sierra Leone -- one of the three West African countries hardest hit by the world's worst Ebola outbreak. Trenchard shared with us his photos documenting the outbreak in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and also provided some insights into what it's like to live in these countries right now.

HuffPost: How did you end up in Sierra Leone?

Trenchard: I'm a writer and photographer, and I traveled before through Sierra Leone just by chance. It's a beautiful country, and it really struck me. I've been living there for the past two years now.

You've been living in Sierra Leone since before the Ebola outbreak began. How different is life there now? Click read more to see the empty streets.

A lot of things have changed. Sierra Leone -- Freetown, in particular -- is an incredibly vibrant place. People live their lives on the streets as much as anywhere else. The markets are stunning and colorful. But you don't really see so much of that now. There's a curfew in place so people can't go out late. Restaurants and bars have been closed down. The Ebola outbreak has affected business hard, especially in the rural areas, which have been locked out from the capital for over a month now [the Kenema and Kailahun districts].

The usually bustling center of Kailahun, Sierra Leone, where economic activity has slowed as a result of Ebola.

There are military checkpoints in place. Only journalists and aid workers are able to go through to these areas. They're very isolated and cut off. Whereas in Liberia, [Ebola] is much more of an urban problem.

A team of body collectors carry the body of a suspected Ebola victim up a hillside in Monrovia, Liberia.

Can you paint a picture of the overall mood of the locals from where you live in Sierra Leone?

It's hard to say, since people react in a lot of different ways. There's an overriding mood of despondency and frustration. But at the same time, more people are starting to accept the Ebola message and contribute to the fight against the disease. But the disease is still getting worse and not better in Sierra Leone, and people are not feeling overly positive about it.

Read 1318 times Last modified on Wednesday, 24 September 2014 13:28
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