Mayor addressing her audience
By: Amara Kargbo
In order to protect lives as well communities from natural catastrophe, the Freetown City Council (FCC) in partnership with the Sierra Leone Women Engineers for Climate Change has launched a mentorship programme that seeks to strengthen women in undertaking flood mitigation exercises and also giving them opportunity to become change influencers in Freetown. The event took place at the FCC on 16th August,2019.
Her worship Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, the Major of Freetown, welcomed the partnership which intends to support women who have ideal strategies and innovations that can help the city fight climate change effects like flooding which has been causing considerable destruction of life and property.
With the Freetown City Council being the first city to launch the Women for Climate Programme in West Africa and only the third in Africa, Mayor Aki-Sawyer admonished the ten women that will be selected to use their skills, ideas and creativity to play a critical role in combating disastrous happenings that society has been experiencing.
She furthered that climate change is a global issue with women being the most vulnerable but women are as well change makers in such odd situations. The women for climate mentorship programme will therefore be looking for ten (10) women who through an online application will be mentored by women around the world on climate change.
Engineer Sarah Campbell of the Sierra Leone Women Engineers for Climate Change informed that the mentorship programme involves professionals that will utilize their expertise in assisting needy women affected by disasters in Sierra Leone.
The partnership with the Freetown City Council is a holistic approach that will enable them provide mentoring and training for female victims and the vulnerable through improved communications and advocacy skills.
The programme will also support and empower future women leaders and offer them a unique platform where young women in cities can develop and implement actions inspired by the “thick local, act global’’ philosophy.
Momodu Alrashid Bah, Director of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), FCC, said climate change undermines development and that women are the most vulnerable, describing the launching of the mentorship programme as very timely, adding that EPA is ready to forge strategic partnerships to address Sustainable Development Goal 13 and will also help them implement mid-term international development plans.