Speaking to this press recently, the Deputy Director at EPA secretariat, in charge of the Climate Change Secretariat Mr. Mohamed Bah stated that any action that will degrade the environment shall not be tolerated especially as the rainy season draws nearer. However, he admitted that so far the battle has been uphill as most of their appeals have been neglected and treated levity.
According to him, the climate is changing due to activities which destroy the flora and fauna of protected areas resulting in massive flooding, landslides and other natural disasters caused mostly as a result of human activities such as sand and stone mining, logging, building structures on waterways among other bad habits which damage the environment.
Mr. Mohamed Bah went on to say that the main Freetown city overlooks the hills which, he added puts the city at risk when deforestation, stone mining and other environmentally unsafe activities take place on the hills overlooking the city, putting the downhill areas at total risk of flooding and other natural disasters.
According to him, the EPA secretariat is working in consultation with other stakeholders like the Freetown City Council, environment protection agencies among several others to set the stage that would ensure that floods and suchlike disasters which might occur during the Rainy Season are avoided or curtailed and save the country from casualties.
Speaking on the causes of recent flooding in and around Freetown, Mr. Bah maintained that deforestation due to housing construction on hill tops; dumping of all sorts of waste into drainages reduces the flow of water in gutters and rivers which can break banks and cause flooding.
According to Mr. Bah, “until we stop dumping waste into drainages, until we stop clearing the trees, we will always face severe consequences of climate change” as well as floods, landslides and other man-made disasters mistaken to be natural disasters. He used the opportunity to talk through the media for the general public to be watchdogs for each other and stop destruction or degradation of the environment.