UNDP Country Director: ‘Sierra Leone vulnerable to increased frequency of coastal erosion’

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July 20, 2018

By Binta Njie Jatta

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Group photo of participants at the workshop

Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) yesterday stated that Sierra Leone is vulnerable to increased frequency of coastal erosion, flooding and storm surges.

According to Dr. Samuel Gbaydee Doe, climate change is one of the most difficult challenges faced by Sub-Saharan Africa and that there were limited resources for mitigating its effect.

He was speaking at the  inception of a workshop hosted at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Freetown on the implementation of a five-year coastal resilience project titled: “Adapting to climate change induced coastal risk management in Sierra Leone” to be funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the UNDP to the tune of US$10 million.

The training was aimed at communicating project document to key stakeholders, facilitating/consolidating stakeholder’s engagement and potential partnership for successful implementation, among others.

“Sierra Leone is vulnerable to increased frequency of coastal erosion, flooding and storm surges. This and others negatively impact economic and social livelihoods such as fishing productivity, ecosystem degradation and low farming activities,” Dr. Doe said.

He said the government has been receiving support from the UNDP to put in place mechanisms of addressing climate change issues and national development and poverty reduction agendas.

He added that the government has been grappling with some challenges in the dissemination of reliable scientific climate data, which the project seeks to address.

Also speaking, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt, touched on the effect of climate change on tourism and stated that the implementation of the project would strengthen disaster preparedness, planning, adaptation and mitigation within her ministry and other sectors.

Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon. Emma Kowa, also dilated on the effect of climate change on fisheries and marine resources.

She highlighted the physical, ecological and aquacultural impact of climate change and stressed the need for it to be addressed.

The workshop was officially opened by the Executive Chairperson of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Dr.
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Foday Moriba Jaward.