By Alimamy Jalloh | Awoko Newspaper
Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – Jiwoh Abdulai, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, delivered a comprehensive overview on Tuesday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presenting the achievements and impacts made during the recent COPP28 summit held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to stakeholders and journalists.
Addressing the COPP28 summit’s primary objective focused on curbing carbon gas emissions, particularly in countries engaged in substantial industrial investment. Discussions during the negotiations between developed and developing nations centered on proposals to aid developing countries by providing essential infrastructures and financial support to transition toward a green gas revolution. This transition posed significant challenges for developing nations lacking sustainable resources and funding.
To position Sierra Leone at the forefront, strategies were devised to establish partnerships with developed countries. Notably, during the summit, Cambridge University announced scholarships for students to study Climate Change as a course, marking a significant commitment toward Sierra Leone’s climate education.
Additionally, a special event during the summit involved discussions with the Irish Foreign Minister and stakeholders on supporting Sierra Leone’s Meteorological Services and Climatology Agency to enhance weather forecasting for agricultural and environmental disaster management.
Deputy Minister of Health II, Jalikatu Mustapha, part of the COPP28 delegation, stressed the summit’s outcomes, emphasizing Sierra Leone’s transition to renewable energy development. Despite its costliness, she expressed determination to prioritize sustainable electricity, water supply, flood and environmental mitigation, combat waterborne diseases, and address issues of weather, temperature, and air pollution.
“Health should be at the forefront of climate change mitigation,” she asserted.
Madam Jalikatu highlighted plans to bolster health infrastructure, including hospitals and solar electrification, to enable early detection, prevention, and rapid response to climate-related health challenges. Financing and support were underscored as essential factors in this renewable energy transformation and climate change efforts.
She revealed that the summit supported the rehabilitation of 1000 hospitals across the country, including the installation of solar panels for electricity, yet raised concerns about sustaining these initiatives amid Sierra Leone’s reliance on fossil fuels for livelihoods.
Jessica Boima Sesay, Director of the Rural Women Development, part of the delegation, emphasized the summit’s focus on health issues during the November 30th to December 12th conference. However, she reiterated the critical challenge of realizing the outcomes of the COPP28 summit.
Sesay stressed the importance of ensuring the Ministry’s accessibility to community organizations, advocating for the government’s committed financial support, and reinforcing health facilities and monitoring to effectively implement the summit’s interventions. AJ/20/12/2023