A moratorium established to stop encroachment into protected areas of the Western Peninsular Forest has not been enforced. The Environmental Protection Agency’s deputy director Mohammed Bah said in 2015 that “irresponsible actions taken on the hills will affect the city greatly”. But construction in these areas continues with impunity, perhaps linked to the fact that many residents are politically connected. The rate of deforestation is alarming and the associated impacts are being felt across the city and not just during the rainy season.
This is an initiative that has been ten years in the making. It started out in 2006, not as an environmental or even film project, but as a documentary photography endeavour. An architect and aspiring photojournalist, I was then living in Freetown and wanted to capture the everyday reality of different communities in the city.