The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Madame Jattu Jallow yesterday said that the flooding that occurred in Freetown on Saturday is as a result of climate change due to our activities which influence the micro-climate of the city.
She made this statement yesterday while addressing journalist on the impact of the heavy downpour of rain on Saturday and the Environmental impact.
The Executive Director said that the heavy rains over the weekend, affected Charles Street, Dundas street, Congo Cross, Peace Bridge, Wilkinson Road, Kissy Road, Kroo Bay Community, Susans Bay, Congo Town Bridge and Oloshuro (Murray Town).
All of these areas were flooded after the heavy rain.
She maintained, the impact of climate change is being caused by massive deforestation and is due to human activities.
Madam Jallow also added that people have got to change the way in which they treat the environment because if they don’t change it is going to bring hazard on the society and the people as a whole.
The EPA boss also added that it is fortunate the flooding took place during the day because if it had happened at night, many lives would have been lost, as people living in these communities are very old and had to be carried across to dry land.
She went further to say that she saw it all for herself, as water is very powerful, even as the nation is battling with the Ebola scourge, flooding will even take more lives, if not prevented.
We have learnt our lesson from Ebola, as it is no longer a development issue but an Environmental and health issue and a concern for all, and we should start thinking of relocating people from one end of the country to another and putting plans in place for any eventuality.
The Deputy Director of Coordinating Climate Change in the EPA, Momodu A. Bah, said that climate change undermines development in the country and reverses the gains of a nation and the individual development. ‘If we continue to destroy our forest there will come a time when Freetown will experience drought” he maintained. When the forest is cleared, the soil is left bare and when there is intense rain, severe erosion will take place, as well as landslide and mudflows, as these materials coming down from the hill will come to Freetown to block drainages and gutters.
Momodu Bah also warned that until people stop cutting trees from the hill and stop dumping waste in the drainages, this flooding issue will not be solved.
He also said that there is an adverse impact of these activities like loss of lives, tilting of electric poles, creation of water ponds to serve as breeding places for water borne diseases like malaria cholera diarrhoea and others.
He also said that in order to address these problems, they have embarked on sensitization through national and local radio and TV programmes, jingles and songs aired to stop the clearing of the hilltops, mangroves removal and extraction of sand and stone mining along ecologically sensitive areas, and also they are partnering with the Government departments to educate the public on the importance of environmental protection and climate change and release of public notices on the protection of Freetown peninsular reserve and coastal sand beaches and mangroves.
By Nancy Koroma
Tuesday September 09, 2014