Perched on the Northern edge of a mountainous forest Peninsula , Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, is the only place in West Africa where forest covered mountains meet the sea from a distance: it is an impressive sight with the urban metropolis largely overshadowed by the back drop of forested mountains.Yet, beyond this  visual spectale, a complicated relationship between Freetown and it surroundings persists.

The pressures of the rapidly expanding city are taking an increasing toll on the forest expanse, with the fringes of the city rapidly pushing up into the mountains of the forested Peninsula. Such an expansion is met with trepidation, as the forested area provides vital functions for the city, such as a catchment for water reserves and as a protector against natural hazards including landslides and flooding.

It is estimated that 38.5% of Sierra Leone is covered by tropical rainforest but it is estimated that deforestation rates have increased by 7.3 since the end of the civil war .

The serious and accelerating rate of deforestation in the country is not only threatening the Biodiversity and ecosystem balance but is contributing to damage the Guma Dam, which is nearby Number Two Village and the mountainous Peninsula .

The city designed for only four hundred thousand inhabitants is now home to more than one million people and it is expected to add five hundred and thirty five thousand more residents by 2028.

Urbanisation and agricultural expansion associated with the growth of Freetown have led to the extensive encroachment into the Guma Dam.

Deforestation in the Dam’s forest threatens the watersheds that provide about 90% of Freetown’s water supply, increases the risk of floods lands slides and destroys critical habitat for wildlife.