Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In a recent interview on Charles Street in Freetown, Joseph Rahall, the Executive Director of Green Scenery, shared concerns about the escalating heat surge in Sierra Leone.
Rahall pointed out various drivers of climate change beyond carbon emissions and deforestation, including nitrogen release from fertilizers, emissions from mining activities, and chemicals used in laboratories.
He highlighted the mixed impacts of heatwave, emphasizing the potential increase in diseases, threats to agriculture, and disruptions in the fishing industry due to rising sea temperatures.
Noting that specific focus on climate change encompasses mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, climate financing, and energy transformation, he advised adopting sustainable practices in agriculture, reducing the use of harmful chemicals to minimize their impact on the climate and the planting of more trees, referring to it as “localization,” to counteract the adverse effects of the heatwave.
Despite their 34 years of dedicated work in the country, focusing on climate change awareness and reforestation, he revealed a distressing setback, stating “Many trees planted by the organization to combat deforestation and reduce local climate impacts, especially in the capital city, have been ruthlessly destroyed by land grabbers.
Acknowledging the country’s relatively small global contribution while urging a local response, the executive director emphasized their commitment to addressing fluctuations in temperature through extensive tree planting and advocating for the abandonment of hydrocarbons in favour of cleaner energy sources like electric, solar, and wind power.
In addition, he spotlighted the need for the nation to act in alignment with the global fight against climate change, emphasizing the mantra, “Consider the global situation and act locally,” as a key strategy to combat rising temperatures.
Addressing the role of international cooperation, Rahall called on industrialized nations to support developing countries like Sierra Leone in various aspects, including farming systems, tree planting, new energy frameworks, improved technology, and financial aid to strengthen adaptation and mitigation efforts.
In conclusion, he reinforced the foreseen challenges, including increased poverty and diseases, urging the government to take proactive measures on the international stage. This comes in the wake of COP 28, where he underscored the need for Sierra Leone to assert its position in global climate change discussions.
Green Scenery is a dedicated civil society organization committed to advocating for climate change awareness and action in Sierra Leone. PSN/18/1/2024