The Freetown Peninsula in Sierra Leone is the most populous and developed part of the country. As the population has grown, efforts to update its infrastructure have stalled, leaving its resources, both physical and environmental, under a great strain. What was once a region rich in marine and forest resources is now at risk from over fishing, water pollution, illegal logging, and soil erosion. The country’s environmental protection framework is weak and poorly enforced, and for many, the country’s waters and forest are their only source of income and nutrition.
A collective of journalists, filmmakers, conservationists, urban planners, scientists, policy makers, health professionals, and community groups has decided to work together to support environmental resilience across the Freetown Peninsula.
Their goal is to highlight environmental sustainability and climate change through information, engagement, and storytelling while empowering local communities to take action. Their work is at the intersection of science, media and community to help shape smart policy.
LOOKING AT THE ISSUES & CHALLENGES
For each of the environmental issues the collective will be looking at the challenges on the ground, talking to people about their experiences, engaging communities in co-producing solutions, and showcasing examples of resourcefulness and innovation. Through a hands-on process, they will explore ways to bridge the gap between grassroots initiatives and policy.
Using radio, video and digital tools the project will address environmental sustainability through the lens of urban development, socioeconomic factors, policy and governance structures, as well as the relationships between them. Partnering with local media will allow providing training to local journalists, building the necessary skill set for effective environmental reporting.
By creating a platform for information and knowledge exchange, the collective will promote dialogue and create linkages between community groups, civil society, experts and decision makers.
Lost Freetown is a 30-min documentary film highlighting the environmental challenges facing the Freetown Peninsula.
The film shows how urban migration and displacement caused by the decade-long civil war have resulted in a doubling of the population of Freetown, stretching the city resources beyond capacity.
View the film here.
You can write to the collective if you feel joining them, contributing or if you want to learn more about their work: firstname.lastname@example.org