From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Urban Greenery engages in tree planting to restore environment
By Sayoh Kamara
Sep 16, 2010, 17:10

Urban Greenery a Committee of Concerned Environmentalists in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security is engaged in a tree planting exercise targeting the entire country. The exercise was launched on 5th June 2010 and have so far planted tree seedlings in the Western Area amounting to 288, 000.

 

According to the Chairman of the Committee, Alan Barrie, the exercise is a campaign against the rapid deforestation of the country especially the Western Areas water catchment areas, adding that the exercise is being replicated simultaneously in all the twelve districts of the country.


In the Western Area, Urban Greenery is concentrated in the Peninsular as well as Sugar Loaf, Grafton, the Leicester Peak, Babadorie and Malaama environs. These areas, Mr. Barrie notes, in an exclusive chat with this reporter, are being depleted of their natural habitat to the extent that if nothing is done to replenish the damage done he noted, the consequences would be devastating as the Western Area soil cover would be left completely exposed for natural disasters to occur, he said. He blames land-grabbers, tree fellers, and charcoal burners for the rapid depletion of the environment, he stated, and emphasized that the degradation of the environment should be seen as a concern since doing nothing to remedy the situation will lead to a loss in value and use of land in the country.


On how the Urban Greenery is going about its campaign, Mr. Barrie noted that it is implemented in collaboration with youth. The target communities he explained have been subdivided into eight zones; with four zones under the direct implementation of the National Youth Coalition, while the other four are being implemented by youth of the respective communities.


Inasmuch as it is an attempt at addressing a national concern, it is in the same vain providing employment for the youth as well as educating on the need to preserve and protect the environment, Mr. Barrie maintained.


He however lamented that even though their efforts is aimed at addressing a national concern for the general good, certain people are busy undermining our efforts and are uprooting or brushing tree seedlings we have planted. They consider us as threats to their anti national development agendas, he lamented. He however appealed to such people not to think of them as such as what they are doing is for posterity and for national environmental restoration.



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