Squashed between the mountain slopes and the Atlantic Ocean, impoverished residents of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, are operating out of area to construct their houses.
In desperation, they’re developing homes on land “reclaimed” from the ocean in a course of know there as “banking”.
This entails piling up layers of tyres, garbage, and sacks of earth on the water’s edge, packing the ballast with mud, after which constructing their houses on high.
Because the inhabitants within the capital grows, it’s estimated that one-third of its 1.5 million residents now stay in slums.
“It is right here I’ve constructed my shack home as a result of I haven’t got the chance to purchase and construct one elsewhere. It is right here I am managing my life with no downside,” stated Lamrana Bah, a resident of Cockle Bay.
The Federation of City and Rural Poor (FEDURP), a community-based organisation, estimates some 198,000 folks stay in its seafront settlements.
However the unlawful development strategies they’re utilizing include nice dangers.
“We’ve witnessed over 15 hearth incidents resulting in the lack of lives and homes burnt down. And the flooding happens through the rains, and through the dry season many of the drainage canals are blocked with rubbish,” stated Nancy Sesay, a resident of Susan’s Bay.
Their unauthorised houses additionally face different issues starting from lack of water and sewage methods to the dearth of entry roads which makes it laborious for ambulances or hearth vehicles to reach in emergencies.
Freetown’s inhabitants mushroomed through the decade-long civil conflict, when the town was seen as protected haven.
“So most individuals migrated from the agricultural areas to Freetown and over time the inhabitants elevated. And that is really had an entire lot of elevated demand for housing and that resulted in folks inhabiting a few of these coastal settlements,” stated Braima Koroma, the director of analysis at Sierra Leone’s City Analysis Centre.
However with rising sea ranges as a consequence of local weather change anticipated to pressure hundreds of thousands of individuals to maneuver additional inland, Freetown’s mayor says the answer is to create extra economically enticing locations for folks exterior the town.
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