In a significant step towards environmental sustainability, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change have partnered with Africell telecommunications company to commemorate World Environment Day on June 5th, 2024.

The event, themed "Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience," highlighted the critical need to address pressing environmental issues.

The EPA, tasked with monitoring, regulating, and protecting the environment, joined millions globally in this observance. Fatmata Bakarr Sesay, a representative from the Communications Department, outlined a week-long series of activities aimed at raising awareness and fostering solutions for environmental challenges in Sierra Leone.

On June 5th, a symposium at Fourah Bay College brought together various stakeholders to discuss the theme and devise strategies to combat environmental problems. The following day, an Eco-tour was organized for school children, offering them firsthand experience of the factors leading to water shortages and measures to mitigate these issues.

On June 7th, a debate competition among schools encouraged young minds to engage with environmental topics, culminating in a green marathon on June 8th. This funfair marathon, starting at Siaka Stevens Street by the Cotton Tree and ending at Lumley Beach, was aimed at raising public awareness about the importance of environmental preservation.

Shadi Gerjawi, Managing Director at Africell Sierra Leone, emphasized the continent's potential for solar energy. Citing the International Energy Agency, he noted that while Africa boasts 60% of the world's best solar resources, it accounts for only 1% of global solar generation capacity. To bridge this gap, Africell launched the Clean Energy Initiative in 2023, including the installation of a 230-kilowatt solar farm at their headquarters in Wilberforce, Freetown.

Africell aims to have 40% of its tower sites operating on hybrid systems, utilizing solar energy and generators by the end of this year. Additionally, their shift towards a paperless office has reduced paper usage by 70%, transitioning to a more digital platform.

In partnership with Easy Solar and PowerGen, Africell has enabled customers to pay for solar energy products through their mobile money platform, Afrimoney. Gerjawi concluded by noting Africell's compliance with EPA regulations since 2016, demonstrating their commitment to environmental responsibility.

This collaboration between the EPA, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, and Africell marks a pivotal effort in promoting sustainability and environmental awareness in Sierra Leone.