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New Efforts Initiated at Plantain Island in Response to Submergence Concerns

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency and other pertinent authorities, undertook a significant mission to Plantain Island situated within the Moyamba District. The primary objective of this essential visit was to engage the local inhabitants in meaningful discussions pertaining to the distressing submergence of the island. 

During the gathering, Charles Barlay, a distinguished indigenous representative from the Ministry of Fisheries at Plantain Island, underscored the imperative of comprehending the life-threatening challenges faced by the island. Furthermore, Adama Sesay, a long-term resident since 1984, elaborated on the detrimental effects of the division within the township over the years, which have contributed to the ongoing submergence of the island. 

In response to the concerns raised by the residents, Sheku Mark Kanneh, the esteemed Chief Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, expressed gratitude to the resilient inhabitants of Plantain Island. He emphasized the critical necessity of understanding the root causes underlying the issues and acknowledged the collaborative efforts between the Environmental Protection Agency, IOM, and the Ministry of Environment, which aim to pave the way for sustainable solutions for the island. 

Christos Christodoulides, the Honorable Head of Office of IOM Sierra Leone, extended his appreciation to all parties involved and encouraged the residents to actively participate in open discussions to identify effective measures to prevent the dissolution of the island. He underscored the significance of this project as a pilot initiative with far-reaching implications. 

Madam Mima YM Sobba-Stephen, the esteemed Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change, emphasized the alignment of the project with her profound concern regarding environmental degradation and its pivotal role in shaping the future of Plantain Island. 

This project holds immense importance for the over 4,500 residents of Plantain Island, as well as for the government and the IOM. Given the increasing focus on migration and climate change, particularly in areas susceptible to dissolution, this collaborative initiative has become an integral component in addressing the pressing concerns surrounding the island's submergence.


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