Our annual environmental nemesis is with us again

Dr. Sama Banya – Puawui

The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 July 2014

God vs evilHabakkuk was one of the Prophets in the Old Testament. He stood apart because he concerned himself with all the evil surrounding him, and wondered why God was allowing it to happen.

Why did evil and crooked men appear to prosper, while ordinary people suffered?

Habakkuk even asked the sovereign Lord why He allowed such things to happen.

In the Holy Book, the Prophet said he believed in the goodness of God and would continue to trust Him, after God had assured him that good will prevail over evil.

I have no pretence at being holy, let alone of being a Prophet of God; nor would I like to be labelled a prophet of doom. But like other concerned individuals, we have persistently called attention to the manner in which we have continued to misuse and to abuse our environment over the years.

Rapid deforestation is at the top of our list of environmental transgressions. And now we are paying the price for our stiff necked stubbornness.

As a boy in elementary school, I was taught in my Geography of Sierra Leone that our country had two seasons; a wet season which began in May, to be followed six months later – at the end October, by the dry season.

freetown environmental disaster waiting to happenFreetown and the coastal areas were said to have an average annual rainfall of 150 inches, which gradually decreased as we moved north-eastwards.

The interior appears to have much more rain in recent years, and as a matter of experience have developed weather patterns of its own.

We have also experienced that, there is now a greater force of winds than before. Witness to this is the havoc already wrought in several places in and around the city of Freetown by the recent rainfall and storms.

Freetown filth - Fourahbay roadRoofs have been blown off the tops of houses, while specific areas appear to shame our contractors of the modern highways along Spur road and Wilkinson roads, leading to Lumley.

Yes, I am told that despite the efforts of the Senegalese construction firm CSE and the China Seventh Railway Group, the Lumley area continues to manufacture sludge and mud, much to the discomfiture of motorists and pedestrians.

The story is the same at Murray Town junction and around the intercession of Mendes Street with Pademba Road.

road construction in Grafton freetownThere may be other areas that I have not visited or heard of as yet, but it is a shame and disappointment that the beauty of the new construction efforts are being marred by a fallout from the erosion and subsequent flow of mud and gravel from high ground.

In the Cockle Bay area for example walls have been broken down by the force of rain water, with flooding of premises causing enormous economic disaster to residents.

The question must be asked; how long must this kind of situation, which is like an annual event continue?

The answer is that, as long as we refuse to pay heed to the warnings and admonishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as other concerned bodies, such as the Forestry division, we shall continue to pay this high price.

The remedy lies in our hands and by our resolve to observe the simple rules and lessons of prevention.

Some of us will continue to call attention to this recurrent Nemesis, until such day when a new generation shall appreciate the gravity of the situation and implement remedies.


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