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‘Sierra Leone is heading for doom if…’

 August 4, 2017 By Memunatu Bangura

Director of Forestry at MAFFS, William Bangura delivering his speech

Director of Forestry at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, William Bangura, has observed that Sierra Leone would be heading for doom if its citizens did not change their attitude towards the forest and environment.

“We are heading for doom as a country if Sierra Leoneans do not change their attitude towards the forest and environment,” he said.

He was speaking at the World Tree Planting Day celebration organised by Shout Climate Change Africa, at Prince of Wales School-Kingtom, themed: ‘Plant tree for life.’

According to him, Sierra Leone has moved from third place to second position after Bangladesh, followed by Burkina Faso as the first disaster prone country

“We have been hearing that Sierra Leone has been categorised as the third vulnerable country in terms of disaster, but now I want to tell you that we have moved from third to second position,” he said.

Bangura said Sierra Leoneans cannot recognize the benefit they derive from the environment and the hazard they face when they destroying it.

He stated that it was a concern for the government and people of Sierra Leone to protect the environment and forest, adding that land is a heritage that God created even before creating man.

The Director stated that Sierra Leoneans were very indiscipline, lawless and selfish when it comes to environmental issues, adding that it was difficult to avoid the use of forest, but noted that people should use it sustainably.

Director of Shout Climate Change Africa (SCCA), Doris Neneh Massaquoi, said the organization was established in Sierra Leone after the occurrence of a disastrous flooding in September, 2015, that led to loss of lives and properties.

She said the organization exists to serve as an action voice that provides solution and change to save the fragile earth from polluting effects for the future generation.

Madam Massaquoi said government is aware of the grave consequences of deforestation on the environment and the need to be committed to not only preventing, but also reserving the damage that was already caused by embarking on systematic reforestation in the country.

She said recent flooding in Freetown and other parts of the country showed that despite routine construction works being done by renowned engineers, the country was still yet to cope and resist the forces of nature and withstanding flooding and heavy storm despite the structural design.

National Coordinator of the United Nations Development Programme’s   Global Environmental Facility(GEF) small grant programme, Abdul Rahman Sannoh, said climate change is the heaviest singular threat posed to the human race and all other lives on earth.

He said climate change refers to an increase in average global temperature and natural events such as volcanic eruptions, adding that human activities were responsible for the increase in average global temperature.

According to him, 75% to 80% of the rural population are farmers and that their activities include deforestation through intensive slashing and burning agricultural land use and logging, overgrazing, bush burning, charcoal production and fuel wood collection, are all factors contributing to the release of greenhouse gases.

He challenged Sierra Leone to contribute in their little ways to combat climate change, adding that the positive thing about it all was that it can be minimized to manageable level.

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