President Julius Maada Bio has spoken in reaction to the fall of the historic cotton tree in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone.

Legend has it that the significance of the tree grew in 1792, when a community of individuals who had been previously enslaved established their settlement in the present-day Freetown.

While the precise age of the tree remains uncertain, historical records confirm its existence in 1787, making it widely regarded as the oldest cotton tree in the country.

Situated in the capital city, the Cotton Tree holds an iconic status as a monument and is prominently featured on the 10,000 Leones banknotes.

On Wednesday, May 24, 2023, the tree fell after a heavy rainfall in the country.

Reacting to the incident, President Bio said; “The iconic Cotton Tree has fallen due to the heavy downpour of rain in our capital this evening. A great loss to the nation. It was regarded as a symbol of liberty and freedom by early settlers.

Bio further added that the government will enact a monument at exact spot of the cotton tree to give credence to its history.

“We will have something at the same spot that bears testament to the great Cotton Tree’s place in our history. All voices will be brought together for this.”, He said.