The ongoing deforestation affects life in Sierra Leone enormously. In the urban space around the capital, trees have to give way to buildings. The steep slopes lose their natural cohesion with the roots of the trees and mudslides arise due to the increased load resulting from the buildings. These mudslides, like in August 2017 in Freetown, sweep away entire city districts and bury many people.
In rural areas, trees are felled for firewood.
Many residents complain about the missing trees as a lack of protection against wind, which can blow away entire roofs, and erosion damage to the foundations of their buildings. They miss some animals that lost their habitat and notice that many ordinarily occurring wild fruits and herbs need cannot be found close by anymore. Forest aisles in previously untouched areas result in new diseases unknown to former generations. Farmers are also aware of the global effects of dwindling forests. The increasingly rare but heavier rain and the longer and hotter dry seasons are attributed to global climate change.
To face these problems, we are starting a tree planting campaign again this year. In addition to trees with strong roots, mango trees will also be planted, in order to restore the flora to its natural nutritional value for animals and humans. In order to ensure the sustainability of the project, a workshop is held for the village population with every tree planting campaign to explain the importance of trees.
In order to run the campaign as efficiently as possible, we divided the project into five equal parts. It allows us to start quickly and expand the campaign if funding is available. Each of these parts includes the costs of transporting and planting 1,000 trees and the workshops. The trees are planted around our existing project sites in the Lokomasama Chiefdom to ensure ongoing treatment of the trees. The organization is carried out by our Forikolo Action Group team, which means that there are no additional costs.