Speaking in Parliament last Friday, Dr. Yumkella pleaded with the Bio-led government to take urgent action to mitigate the deforestation of the country’s forest reserves. He recalled the video he did a year ago at Hastings, showing logs waiting to be exported.
He also recalled the Speaker of Parliament had invited environmental groups to the House of Parliament to explain the extent of deforestation on the nation. It seems however that their efforts are landing on deaf ears, he said.
Hon. Yumkella called on the government to take proactive steps to plant trees so as to replace those which have been cut down in forest areas in Kailahun, Kenema, Kono, Kambia and Karene districts to sustain viable timber industry in those districts.
He demanded that Parliament should call for a briefing about how the new reforestation fund is being used. MPs from Falaba and Koinadugu also echoed the same demand.
Hon. Dr. Yumkella expressed his dismay about what he discovered, as he drove to Kamakwie, especially the bridges along the roads in Karene and throughout Falaba and Koinadugu.
This situation he added is causing serious problems for the movement of agricultural produce, general trade and other economic activities in the communities, many of which are completely cut-off from markets during the rainy season.
According to Global Security, Sierra Leone has been ranked as the third most vulnerable nation after Bangladesh and Guinea Bissau to adverse effects of climate change.
Vulnerable populations have low capacity to adapt to climate change; and the rural populations will be the most affected because of their high dependence on rain-fed agriculture and natural resource-based livelihoods. Yeliboa in Hon. Dr. Yumkella’s own constituency 062 Samu Chiefdom which is experiencing the effects of climate change and is gradually being submerged under water.