Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_top position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_bottom position below the menu.

Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_bottom position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_top position below the search.

Sierra Leone is a small country located on the West Coast of Africa with an area of about 72,000 km2. Bounded on the West by the Atlantic Ocean, it stretches along the coastline for approximately 400 km, by Guinea on the north and north-east, and by Liberia on the south-east. Sierra Leone is divided into four main physical regions, namely coastal plains, interior lowland plains, interior plateau, and hills and mountains. The landscape of Sierra Leone is characterised by topography ranging from mountainous slopes in the northeast to low relief floodplains in the southwest.

The most extensive land cover change in Sierra Leone was the loss of woodland and forested area across the country. Between 1975 and 2013, Sierra Leone lost 30 percent of its forest cover, or about 1,100 km2, at an average annual rate of 0.8 percent. However, this rate has slowed since the end of the civil war, averaging 0.4 percent of annual forest loss between 2000 and 2013. Because a large part of the population in Sierra Leone obtains its substance from farming, agriculture expansion was mostly driven by population growth. 

Sierra Leone has a wet tropical climate, marked by distinct wet and dry seasons. The wet or rainy season is from May to October and the dry season from November to April. The wet season has an average rainfall of 3,000 mm, with coastal and southern areas receiving from 3,000 to 5,000 mm annually and inland areas between 2,000–2,500 mm in the drier areas of the north–west to the north -east. The temperatures are consistently high throughout the country, roughly averaging from 25–27°C, with slightly lower temperatures (22–25°C) during the wet season.

Administratively, Sierra Leone is divided into four Regions. Eastern, Northern and Southern Provinces, and the Western Area, which is the peninsular on which the capital, Freetown, is situated. Each Region is subdivided into Districts, and the Districts are further divided into Chiefdoms. Overall, there are 14 Districts and 149 Chiefdoms. In addition to this, the 2004 Local Government Act established 19 Local Councils, 5 City Councils, and 14 District Councils. In 2017, the GoSL proclaimed the de-amalgamation of Chiefdoms and an attendant re-division of the Northern Region into two distinct Regions, namely: Northern Region and North-Western Region. The two new Northern Regions now consist of seven electoral Districts in place of the previous five. The North-West Region covers Port Loko, Karene and Kambia Districts, while the Northern Region covers Bombali, Tonkolili and Koinadugu 1, and Koinadugu 2 Districts.

Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a directly elected President and a unicameral legislature. The 1991 Constitution established three main branches of Government, namely an Executive, a Legislature and a Judiciary. The 1991 Constitution is being reviewed and a draft has been presented by the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC). The President, who is the head of state, the head of Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces and the Sierra Leone Police, leads the executive branch. The President appoints and leads a cabinet of ministers, which Parliament approves. President Ernest Bai Koroma is serving his second and final term, which ends in 2018. Elections will be held on March 7, 2018.

Sierra Leone’s civil war (1991-2002) eroded infrastructure and human capacity throughout the country. Sierra Leone remains largely dependent upon its minerals economy, including iron, diamonds and rutile, which are major sources of foreign exchange. Sierra Leone boasts extensive natural resources, but these are under pressure from population growth, dependence on biomass for energy, water pollution, and environmentally unsound mining activities, leading to high rates of deforestation, increased rates of soil erosion, and occurrence of landslides. High dependence on agriculture and natural resources, coupled with high rates of poverty, unemployment and environmental degradation, leave Sierra Leone vulnerable disasters and climate change impacts. 

The 2015 Census data indicates that the population grew from 4,976,871 in 2004 to 7,092,113 in 2015, registering an average annual growth rate of 3.2 percent. Males represented 49.1% of the total population and females 50.9%. The 2015 PHC results reflect the demographic profile of a young population, where 40.9 percent are less than 15 years, and only 3.5 percent are 65 years and above. The working age population (15-64 years) represents 55.6 percent. By type of residence, the 2015 Census reveals that 4,187,016 people live in the rural areas (59.0%), and 2,905,097 people live in the urban areas (41.0%). 

The 2015 PHC results reveal that the total stock of houses in the country is 801,417. The proportion of houses in rural areas (60.6%) is higher than that in urban areas (39.4%). The regional distribution shows that Eastern region counts for 21.8 percent of the stock of houses, Northern region 34.3 percent Southern region 22.7 percent and Western Area 21.1 percent. The common material used for the construction of walls nationally is mud bricks, followed by cement blocks mud & wattle ,clay bricks and zinc .In the rural areas, the data shows that mud bricks accounts most of the wall construction followed by mud & wattle ,cement blocks, clay bricks and zinc. 

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation is the major health care provider in Sierra Leone and operates all government health facilities in the country. The primary care system comprises three levels of progressively larger facilities with increasingly skilled HCWs. From smallest to largest, these include Maternal and Child Health Posts (MCHPs), Community Health Posts (CHPs), and Community Health Centres (CHCs). CHCs also provide basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care (BEmONC) services. The secondary care system comprises district hospitals and regional hospitals that provide a comprehensive range of services, including comprehensive obstetric and neonatal care (CEmONC) services. The tertiary care system comprises a number of hospitals in Freetown that provide the most specialised of services.

The education system is composed of 6 years of formal primary education, 3 years of junior secondary school(JSS), 4years of senior secondary school (SSS) and 4 years of tertiary level education(colleges, universities, polytechnics and teacher training). There are four universities in Sierra Leone: The Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone (1837); Njala University (1910 and became a university in 2005); University of Makeni (2005); and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (2016). The 2015 Census revealed that out of the 6,589,838 people aged 3 years and above, 55.4 percent have attended school and 44.2 percent have never attended school.  

The fisheries sector in Sierra Leone constitute of artisanal fishing activity that contributes significantly (up to 80%) of the total national fish production; industrial fishing activity that operates in the deep waters and characterized by multinational fleet; and inland fishery that operates in rivers, a few lakes, flood plains and swamps.  Aquaculture is mostly practiced in inland valley swamps and wetlands and has great potential for development.

Agriculture has been the backbone of the Sierra Leone economy for several decades. It contributes 40 to 50% of GDP, about 10% of exports, and provides employment to approximately two-thirds of the population. Whilst agricultural growth has significant poverty reduction effects, the sector is characterized largely by smallholders, practicing mainly subsistence agriculture. In recent years, efforts have been made to introduce mechanized farming practices, through provision of tractors, power tillers and other agricultural tools to farming communities. 

Sierra Leone is reasonably well endowed with energy resources, particularly biomass energy (forestry), hydroelectricity and other renewable energy sources (e.g. solar energy). Energy consumption in Sierra Leone is dominated by biomass, mainly in the form of fuel wood and charcoal which accounts for over 83% of energy used. Currently, the electricity sub-sector in Sierra Leone faces challenges with less than 13% access. Currently, there are operational hydro power dam– Dodo (6MW) a regional grid linking thermal power plants in Bo and Kenema in the south-east and Bumbuna Falls (50MW in the wet & 18MW in the dry) in the north its supply Makeni and also linked to the Freetown electricity grid. The current installed capacity of solar PV is about 25 kW, which provides solar systems for hospitals, schools, domestic and commercial use.

Sierra Leone’s mineral resources also include rutile, bauxite, ilmenite, zircon, gold and coltan. Diamond productions are concentrated in Kono, Kenema and Bo Districts.  Bauxite deposits and production sites include those between Moyamba and Mano. Rutile production is distributed around Gbangbama, Sembehun, Rotifunk and Kambia. Iron ore has long been mined at Marampa and recently mining activities have begun in Tonkolili. Diamond is one of the country’s largest exports. There is large scale mining operations in diamonds, rutile and bauxite and continued small-scale and artisanal mining of gold and diamonds.