Sierra Leonean Philanthropist Haroun Oluwale Zubairu has released an article titled; ‘Climate Change and its Effects on the Environment and the Economy of Sierra Leone.’
The article speaks on the dangers of climate change to the Sierra Leonean Economy and Environment.
It also made reference to the increasing climate conditions of which have resulted in the loss of lives and destruction of properties.
“The likelihood that climate change will decrease in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is a far-fetched idea and something seemingly impossible in the coming years if extreme measures are not taking. Climate change has been a hazard; a deterrent to our society and our environment. The threat of climate change cannot be overstated.”
He continued to make reference to the country’s economy revolving around the country’s environment.
“Sierra Leone’s economy revolves mainly around the environment. Mining for example constituted over 80% of export earnings and contributed over 20% of the country’s GDP.”
It continued that the rigorous activities on the land to mine for minerals with little or no consideration on the impact on the environment has left many communities in ruins, causing flooding and other environmental disasters.
It added that agriculture for instance is another activity that contributes a large amount to the country’s economy and these activities/practices have caused massive deforestation and carbon emissions through land clearing, slash and burn, respectively.
It also affects Tourism. Take for example the sea weed and the returns the sea gives like plastic waste and others. It affecting the growth of Tourism and also restrict Tourists from utilizing our beaches.
The article states that climate change has left an indelible memory in the hearts and minds of Sierra Leoneans and in the past 2 (two) decades, the country has witnessed continuous rising sea levels, massive deforestation, drought, flooding, sporadic rainfall, Landslide, and heatwaves.
“The economic activities of man on the land have increased the frequencies and intensities of extreme weather events, thus, claiming to the loss of lives, destruction of properties, and also affecting our livelihood,” it reads.
“On the morning of August 14th, 2017, a devastating landslide and flooding disaster ripped through the capital city of Freetown, claiming 1,245 lives lost and over 300 houses were decimated. Another 3,000 people were rendered or left homeless. The landslide disaster is just one of many disasters that have occurred during the past 10 (ten) years as a result of human activities that causes our climate to change. In other words, cutting down trees; encroaching in water catchment areas; carbon emissions from factories, vehicles, and machinery, have been the main factors for climate change.”
He continued by calling on Sierra Leoneans to become a catalyst for change as the environment needs urgent attention.
“We must become catalysts for change as our environment needs our urgent and utmost attention. Climate change is real, our environment is rapidly changing. Swift and careful action must be taken to ensure the environment is protected. Let’s plants trees; reduce carbon emissions by using eco-friendly technologies on every locomotive (Renewable Energy); recycle our waste; avoid building and encroaching in water catchment areas. Together we can protect our environment.”
As the World is currently faced with the COVID-19 Pandemic Zubairu ended on the note that Sierra Leoneans should wear facemasks all the time, observe social distancing, cough or sneeze in their elbow, avoid social gathering and listen to the advice and recommendations of the National COVID Response Center NaCOVERC.
“Make we wear our facemask at all time, stay at least 5 feet apart, cough or sneeze in the elbow, avoid social gathering and we must listen to the advice and recommendations of NaCOVERC.”
Climate change is no longer some far-off problem; it is happening here; it is happening now. The technology is here, we the people are ready, scientists have spoken, progressive businesses are stepping forward, now we need to put more emphasis on Climate action. Let’s us be aware that Climate Change is one of the biggest threats to human rights in the 21st Century, climate change is a lot like death, we all understand it’s inevitable, but only few of us truly accept it, “participation” that’s what’s we need to save the human race in the years ahead. The only sustainable growth will be green growth. It is guarantee of jobs and prosperity for generations to come. It’s an opportunity we should all embrace.