Freetown’s ambitious afforestation project is selected among the finalists in the 2023 Earthshot Prize. The project headed by Manja Kargbo saw the planting of one million trees in the heavily deforested capital city of Sierra Leone.

From over 1,000 entries, Freetown the Tree Town makes the Earthshot Prize Final 15,” Kargbo announced the news on her twitter page.

Sierra Leone’s capital city is witnessing increasing deforestation especially due to surge in population. The city has less than two million people currently but it is expected to surpass that by 2035.

The increasing deforestation has led to disasters and also making the West African nation prone to natural disasters. A mudslide at the mountain settlement of Matormeh in Regent was seen as an eye-opener to the impending danger that looms when man decide to toy with nature.

Freetown’s forest loss has caught the attention of prominent people in the city including the Mayor-elect of the city, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr. The mayor and her office supported the Freetown the Tree Town project when it was launched.

Freetown has been on the frontlines of global climate change and our people are directly impacted by the realities of a changing climate that creates stronger storms,” she said.

She continued by agreeing that the city’s population is growing rapidly but suggested that urbanisation co-exists with conservation.

The Earthshot Prize was founded three years ago by Prince William. The prize aims to achieve protection and restoration of nature, clean air, ocean revival, waste-free world and fixing climate change by 2030.

There have been 45 finalists and 10 winners of the prize since its foundation.