June 16, 2021
By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya
The Department of Public Relations and Inter-sectoral Collaboration under its community engagement activity on the 9th June 2021 engaged the Kolleh Town and Kroobay communities on flood preparedness in their various communities. On the 10th June 2021, the PRIC also continued its engagement in the slum communities in Banana Wata and Susans Bay.
Amidst heavy rain, the department under its leadership, Mrs. Ramatu Baindu Massaquoi ceases this opportunity to meet the community key stakeholders. In their various localities.
Video documentaries of the past incidences of flooding and disasters in the country were played to them followed by questions and answers sessions. Year in and out these slum communities are affected by flooding. Mrs. Fatmata Bakarr-Sesay took them through past experiences of flooding and how it had affected most of them.
Mangroves plays a vital role towards the survival of fish and other sea animals. Mrs. Sesay emphasized on the importance of these mangroves as well as threw light on the dangers of cutting those mangrove trees for firewood. She called on these slum communities to desist from cutting the mangroves for constructing makeshifts structures as the underlying harm is more than the benefit.
As anyone cannot do away with the environment, Mrs. Sesay mentioned that if anyone helps to protect it, it will in turn surely help to protect in reverse.
Mrs. Ramatu further reiterated that because humans have depleted the environment, the result of such depletion is manifesting today as flooding and other environmental issues.
Human activities play a key role towards the changes in the environment. Madam Massaquoi called on the communities to curtail some of their activities which may affect them in their areas as they are the victims when disasters occur.
Key questions on mitigation and adaptation played a central role towards the community engagement.
Community people called on the Environment Protection Agency to assist with equipment which may be needed during cleanups in the communities. They also called for the assistance of the government of Sierra Leone to assist them with formulating by-laws as well as enforcing such laws to ensure the protection of the environment.