Sierra Leone: a call to care for the planet following a sad event

Fr Peter Konteh, Executive Director of Caritas Freetown in Sierra Leone, shared a call to reflect on everyone’s role in caring for the planet. He invited the local community to take action to protect environment and mitigate the impact of climate change in Sierra Leone.

Particularly, Fr Konteh raised an alarm on the destruction of forests and the resulting environmental damage in the country. Indeed, deforestation not only contributes to climate change, but it also destroys the habitats of many species of plants and animals, leading to a loss of biodiversity, he explained.   

In this regard, Caritas Freetown Executive Director indicated concrete actions to mitigate the impact of climate change and reduce the risk of disaster and flooding, such as promoting sustainable forestry practices, reducing our carbon footprint, and planting more trees. We can also reduce our use of single-use plastics and promote the use of renewable energy, he said. 

The appeal was launched in occasion of the Laudato Si’ Week, but also in correspondence of a sudden and unfortunate event. On the night of 24 May, Freetown's beloved Cotton Tree collapsed due to a powerful downpour that swept across the city. 

The Cotton Tree was an iconic symbol of resilience, unity, and cultural heritage for Freetown’s inhabitants. Embracing residents’ disbelief and sadness, Fr Konteh invited them to stand united as a city and take this opportunity to reflect on the damages and consequences of climate crises, in order to do everyone their part in protecting our planet for future generations.

06 June 2023