Women lead on environment protection
Women Inspired to Learn and Lead – Sierra Leone (WILL-SL) with support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security held a tree planting exercise with an environment protection campaign at the Hamilton Community and the Guma Valley Water Catchment Area on Saturday 18th June 2016. Held on the theme “Plant a tree now to save Salone”, over two thousand trees were planted after an official opening ceremony at the Hamilton Community Center were speaker after speaker commended the organization for taking the bold step on environment protection.
Abu Bakarr Sidique Daramy is the Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture. He told the gathering that the country is currently faced with the problem of deforestation, which has led to climate change. Mr. Daramy who was chairing the ceremony named bush burning and cutting down trees as leading to health and environmental problems. “We must plant more trees to clean the atmosphere,” he said, and added that saving a forest would enhance much economic income for the community and the nation through carbon credit. Mr. Daramy said the people of Hamilton and Guma Valley Catchment Community must count themselves lucky for having such an event.
The Founder and Chief Executive Secretary of WILL-SL, Assiatu Jalloh said the organization was founded in November last year, and that they are working on key thematic areas like environment protection, education, women’s participation in politics etc. “We want to save our communities from natural disaster and see ourselves taking the lead in protecting the environment,” she said, adding further that the people of Hamilton Community must treat the project with all seriousness for a better tomorrow. Jalloh called for more support to take the project in other communities across the country.
Agriculture Ministry’s Assistant Director for Community Forestry, Alpha Umaru Leigh revealed that human activities contribute to deforestation and pollution of the environment. The forest, he said is a God-given resource that must not be destroyed. He called for the enforcement of community and national laws so as to save the forest and to enable it save water and precious minerals. Mr. Leigh admonished Village Headmen to work hard with their community people to prevent deforestation. “It is good to see women taking the lead on environment protection,” he said. The Assistant Director pledged the Ministry’s support to save the environment.
The Hamilton Village Headman, Morlai Conteh called for their empowerments so as to enable them do their work effectively. He said all Land Surveyors must be made to consult Village Headmen before surveying any land in their community.
Mohamed Kanneh of the West Africa Youth Network revealed that women contribute a lot to climate change. “It is good to have them taking the lead to tackle the problems,” he said, and further states that cutting down trees leads to water crisis and natural disaster.
A Veteran Cyclist, Eustace Thompson, representatives of the Nigerian High Commission, and Plum Health Organization discouraged the habit of destroying the environment because of technology. They called on the people to be part of the moving train to save the environment. The Youths of Hamilton Village pledged their support for the project and called for more empowerment so that they take the lead in protecting their forest.
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