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Regent Village could be prone to more slides…urgent action!

By Salifu Conteh
The lush forested area of Regent Village began disappearing four years after the end of the civil conflict. One would imagine the post-conflict reconstruction phase to be a blessing to community dwellers that in the past were reluctant to sell their lands. However, at the moment one could see that it was the opposite. The once green forest is rapidly disappearing in large part due to the erection of mansions and zinc-houses (pan bodies) leaving the area prone to natural disasters.
The Western Area Peninsular forests which was recently declared a National Park by the President was a welcome news by Environmentalists and Conservationists especially Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary that happens to operate in the park.

The initial aim of the Sanctuary was to provide safe haven for rescued orphan chimps in the country and this could only be done in a forested environment.
With the increase of deforestation within the park, Tacugama has shifted its focus from primarily conserving one of man’s closest relatives, the chimpanzees, towards campaigning for the protection of the remaining patches of forests which serve as home to the countless number of flora and fauna in Sierra Leone. The sanctuary is also playing a vibrant role in the protection of the water catchment areas providing water to over hundreds of individuals from Regent to Allen Town in the East-end of Freetown.
The Sanctuary is facing ongoing encroachment threats, severe poaching, and invasion from land grabbers, massive charcoal burning, timber logging, and clearing of forests for marijuana planting. The outlined human activities can trigger natural disasters at any given period of time come rain or shine.
A landslide occurred on August 14th approximately 150 meters from the Tacugama Staff Quarters which is home to 10 family heads. The sanctuary is not only assessing the extent of the damaged incurred but also making sure that all families living along the Tacugama axis are safe. We need to act n0ow to prevent the loss of more innocent lives not only in Regent but throughout the entire country
The Congo Dam on the other hand doesn’t hold all its rain water throughout the rainy period. The questions now are…is the whole area safe after soaking in millions of tons of water each year for about 6 months? What if the area is gradually developing cracks? To answer these alarming questions would be to visit the area as soon as possible; identify cracks if any and think of ways to collect excess rain-water all throughout the year.

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