Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 May 2021:
The people of Sierra Leone have been warned to expect very freak weather conditions this year, especially unusual thunderstorms, heavy and sporadic rainfall followed by severely dry weather causing drought which may affect farming crop yield. (Photo above: Sierra Leone’s weatherman – Deputy Director of the Met Agency – Gabriel Kpaka).
Speaking at a press conference held at the office of the Meteorological Agency on Tuesday, Deputy Director of the Meteorological Agency – Gabriel Kpaka, did not mince his words. He said that Sierra Leone is being subjected to severe effects of climate change caused by deforestation, increasing air population with rising CO2 emissions.
In the last few days the capital Freetown has experienced extreme heat and buffeted by heavy winds as the rainy season arrives, expecting to bring with it devastating floods. Several houses lost their roofs on Tuesday after heavy winds.
Photo above: In 2017, over one thousand people lost their lives when part of Sugarloaf mountain collapsed during heavy rains, with hundreds of properties destroyed.
The weather outlook for Sierra Leone is not good, says weatherman Gabriel Kpaka. Sierra Leone, he said will also experience low rainfall – projected below the average rainfall that fell between 1981 to 2010.
Early rains are expected in all regions of the country, followed by long dry spells at the start and the end of the rainy season. The met agency also says there would be a high occurrence of strong winds and electric storms this September and October.
Gabriel Kpaka calls for tougher measures to mitigate against flooding, and recommended rainfall harvesting and effective management of water resources to avoid disastrous impact on farming caused by imminent drought.
Freaky weather, heavy rain fall, or sometimes no rain fall that defy the seasonal pattern that we are used to, is already upon us. Climate change is the main culprit. But the real culprit causing this environmental degradation is human activity. Don’t be taken in by the fake news brigade climate sceptics. Like the effects of corruption in our society, we Sierra Leoneans that are lethargic or slow to confront the problems, are in the habit of waiting and watching utill such time the problem hit us squarely in the face. Then some reason we wake up in our slumber and start to scramble and look around on how to overcome the problem. Just like the cancer of corruption, we know about it but being laid back, we fail to do anything about it until we were overwhelmed. We always leave the problem to fester until it is too late. Maybe its a nationwide Sierra Leonean disease, starting with our corrupt politicians.
You just have to stand at Mount Aureol, over looking the Freetown peninsula, a once tropical rain forest, then you start to realise how much damage has already been done due to deforestation. The problem with the timber trade, people are chopping up our rainforest and selling the timber to China. Whilst China and the rest of the world are enforcing deconian rules to protect their rain forest. Bio promised to protect our environment, by planting more trees to replace the fallen ones but like any of his promises, it has fallen off on the way side. This timber trade and its devastation to our environment is repeated all over the country. Basically they are removing the first natural protection for our soil. Which in turn cause flooding. For decades, climate scientists, environmentalist, and echo-warrior’s have been warning us about the dangers posed by human activities.
Grete Thunberg, the best known teenage Swedish environmentist activists has been campaigning and challenging world leaders to take climate action, by adopting polices that mitigate environmental disaster, such as the ones we saw in the recent floodings occurring over the years in Freetown. And according to our metrologist we should brace ourself for more of the same for the future, if our government and us the citizens fail to take the necessary steps to prevent this disaster. This is not Bio’s problem, but it falls to all of us to act collectively to save our country.
Take a look at the satellite view of Freetown in particular on google map, it is clearly noticeable that Freetown is becoming a man made semi desert. Ninety percent of houses are without a tree in their compounds or boundaries. The cutting down of trees at a proposed site to make way for building construction is a norm for house would be owners and contractors.
To help combat this climate issue facing Sierra Leone, the government needs to take a bold and firm step and make into law that every house owner must plant or have at least a tree in their compound. And also, the mayors in Sierra Leone from various areas should engage in tree planting along the streets and in government open spaces.