Of War and Nature: The Environmental and Social Degradation of Freetown, Sierra Leone (Video Abstract)
From Tasia Terrell
Slide 1: My essay is titled, Of War and Nature: The Environmental and Social Degradation of Sierra Leone. By Me, Tasia Terrell
Slide 2: My essay is about the political ecology of Freetown Sierra leone after the 1991 civil war that set off mass migration to the peninsula, which forever changed the political ecology of the region.
Slide 3: This was due to the rapid urbanization that altered the landscape of the city and the relationship the people had with the environment.
Slide 4: I was inclined to write the story of this phenomenon because I felt the story of Freetown was not being told in its entirety. In the recent decade there have been an influx in landslide throughout the mountainous regions that have devastated the slum population – which happens to be the majority of the total population in the city.
Slide 5: And it has been blamed entirely on the practices of the poor. Either they fish too much, use too much wood to build their houses, or are too uneducated to understand sustainability.
Slide 6: In my paper, I argue that there are far grander reason for the continued frequent occurrences of these landslides. Greater than the oil crisis of the 1960’s, physical conflict in 1990’s, and urban migration in the last decade.
Slide 7: Such as domestic corruption in the local government and international politics that have drowned out the local realities.
Slide 8: Through my essay, I hope the audience understands that there are a plethora of reasons as to why ecological processes occur and it is necessary to address and understand each to provide proper solutions. In the case of Freetown, the solution to their plight is a matter of life and death. A matter of livelihood.
Slide 9: There are currently 60 slum population who are facing the threat of these life altering landslides in the present day. We should care because majority of the urban population in Sierra Leone live in Freetown and majority of the urban population in Freetown live in slums. Therefore, a high percentage of a countries people are at risk of disappearing from the world right in front on or eyes.
Slide 10: If that is not enough, we too are human, and we too lose a piece of our humanity when we turn a blind eye to the suffering of others.