The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leads through the climate change initiative in inclusive engagement with key stakeholders.

In a recent regional dialogue organized at the Port Loko District Council in the Northwestern Region of Sierra Leone, the EPA convened a diverse assembly of government ministries, women’s groups, media representatives, and other vital stakeholders to chart a path forward in the fight against climate change.

The conversations during the meeting rotated around critical issues such as capacity building for data collection by various government ministries, seeking to enhance transparency in climate-related matters within different sectors. Additionally, there were talks about establishing a national Greenhouse Gas Inventory (GHG), among other crucial topics.

Madam Lovetta Yatta Johanna, Assistant Director of Climate Mitigation at the National Climate Change Secretariat under EPA, emphasized the causes, effects, and steps required to combat climate change in Sierra Leone.

One significant concern highlighted was the rampant deforestation without adequate reforestation efforts, which has been a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. “Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are highly detrimental to human health. When a tree is cut down without replacement, it releases harmful gases that affect our lives. These gases ascend into the atmosphere and disrupt weather patterns, resulting in abnormal rainfall and overall weather changes,” she explained to Awoko.

In discussing the steps being taken to combat climate change, she revealed, “This project aims to establish a system where all sectors can provide accurate data on climate issues and Greenhouse Gas management (GHG), spanning agriculture, energy, and more. We are employing two approaches here: the reference and sectoral approaches.”

However, on a late Saturday afternoon, Port Loko City was shrouded in darkness as the sky turned pitch black. Similarly, in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, heavy winds disrupted daily life and led to power outages in nearly all areas.

According to Madam Johanna, these weather anomalies are a direct consequence of human activities adversely impacting the environment. She stressed that human actions have exposed the country to adverse weather conditions, affecting the benefits derived from trees.

Madam Johanna disclosed that this regional dialogue will continue in all five regional headquarters of Sierra Leone, reaffirming the nation’s commitment to combatting the pressing issue of climate change.