EPASL leads Members of Parliament to visit disaster prone Areas in the Western Areas

The Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone in its strides towards working with policy makers in the country for cogent actions towards environmental safety and security had led Members of Parliament of the Parliamentary Committee on Lands and the Environment to disaster prone areas in the city. Present among the delegation were the Chairman of the Committee on Lands and the Environment, Hon. Quintin Salia-Konneh and the Deputy Director Planning Policy and Research at the Environment Protection Agency, Mr. Sheikh Ahmed Tunis who ably represented the Executive Chairman of the Agency, Dr. Foday Moriba Jaward. The purpose of the visit was to avail the MPs with firsthand information on the disaster caused by the heavy downpour of rain in those affected Communities and to solicit Parliamentary actions.

The delegation visited the Matormeh and the Colbot Communities which were severely affected by the recent mudslide and flooding disasters respectively.

Besides the August 14th 2018 mudslide, the Matormeh/Gbangbayila Community also recently experienced cracks which triggered government officials from the Office of National Security, UNOPS, Sierra Leone Geological Engineers and the Environment Protection Agency to visit the said community and come up with a comprehensive plan of action. During the recent visit by government Officials, Community people were warned to desist from cohabiting around the vicinity of the new cracks.

While at the Matormeh Community on the 20th of August 2019, Mr. Sheikh Tunis informed the Parliamentarians that within the month of August alone, there had been up to three mudslides in the said Community, adding that the entire community has many cracks which the EPASL and government in general is particularly worried about.

Hon. Quentin Salia-Konneh while stressing on the need for the Community people to stay away from the places where cracks have been detected also informed the people that their lives were more precious than anything they could think of on earth. He further reechoed the need for the Community people to adhere to the recommendation of the technical team which had earlier advised them to stay away from disaster prone areas.

The Members of Parliament also used the visit to acquaint themselves properly with more information on the recent disasters and hoped to come up with more concrete actions within the shortest possible time after the recession of Parliament.

WE SUSPEND OPERATIONS OF FIVE COMPANIES AT OKRA HILL

The Environment Protection Agency, Sierra Leone (EPASL) has on Thursday 22nd August 2019, suspended the operations of five companies engaged in quarrying activities within the Okra Hill area. The companies are: Great Africa Sierra Leone Limited; Xingwang Business Quarry; Haoxin Quarry; First Investment International Company and Afroaz International (SL) Ltd.


The suspension of operations was due to the refusal by the aforementioned companies to either renew their Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) License or complete the process for the acqusition of an EIA license. The Environmental Compliance and Enforcement department of the Agency issued the enforcement notices to each of the companies in accordance with section 53 of the EPA Act and warned that no operations should be undertaken by the affected companies until they have fully complied with the EPA Act and that they have one month to do so. According to the Team Lead, Mr Lamin Tarawalie who is the EPASL Deputy Director of Field Operations and Extension (FOE), the suspension of operations of these companies was geared towards ensuring that those whose activities impact or have a likelihood to impact the environment are effectively monitored to ensure a quality of environment that is safe for all. He further stated that the EPA remains supportive of investors but that investment must not be at the expense of the environment.
The acquisition of an EIA license is a condition precedent. In other words, companies that are engaged in any of the activities slated in the First Schedule of the EPASL Act 2008 as amended in 2010 must first of all acquire their EIA license prior to the commencement of their operations. Under Sec53 of the EPA Act, the EPA has the power to suspend or shut down the operations of companies that are in violation of the Act. The acquisition of an Environmental Impact Assessment License is crucial, as it provides the Agency an opportunity to scrutinize the activities of companies and determine their level of compliance with the EPA Act.

 

Our Executive Chairman builds case for Funding of Ambitious Pipeline Projects in Sierra Leone during Green Climate Fund Conference in South Korea

The Executive Chairman of the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone, Professor Foday Moriba Jaward joined over 600 stakeholders comprising Ministers, Executive Secretary of the Green Climate Fund Secretariat, National Designated Authorities or focal points, Accredited Entities, and others from developing and developed countries to explore how the Fund can support them in achieving their climate ambitions. The Executive Chairman of the EPASL took the opportunity to romance with key environment and Climate Change Specialists as well as the former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon who also earlier on emphasized on the importance of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in meeting global commitment to mobilize USD100 billion of Climate Finance by developed countries annually by 2020.

The conference is held from the 19–23 August 2019, in Songdo, Republic of Korea as part of the GCF’s contribution to the achievement of the Paris Agreement, ahead of 2020 when countries will be called to raise their climate ambition targets or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). With over USD 5 billion worth of climate action projects around the world, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is playing a major role in helping developing countries raise and realize their climate ambitions.

GCF’s Global Programming Conference serves as a platform for high level-dialogue on country and entity programming plans with GCF. The Conference will invite developing countries to discuss the demand for GCF resources that move them towards low-emission and climate resilient pathways in line with the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. It will also be a platform for Accredited Entities to demonstrate how they can help countries realize this demand consistent with their capacities and competencies, and for GCF to consider ways in which its strategy and programming for the first replenishment period could respond to such demands.

Prof. Jaward was given an opportunity to make a presentation in the presence of hundreds of delegates during the Climate Conference in South Korea. Making his presentation on theme “building an ambitious pipeline of transformational climate interventions in Sierra Leone”, the Executive Chairman of the EPASL said in 2015, the country developed a Climate Change Policy together with a low emissions and climate resilient strategy. He said “the goal of the strategy and the accompanying action plan is to prepare the government and people of Sierra Leone to limit their carbon footprint; reduce or minimize risks by improving adaptive capacity, adapt by reducing vulnerability to climate change impacts and increasing the resilience and sustainable wellbeing of all citizens; and to leverage new opportunities and facilitate collaboration in-country and with regional and global communities”.

He also said the negative biophysical and socio-economic impacts of climate change will be minimized and the population will be well positioned to harness new opportunities presented by climate change financing windows for the implementation of low emissions and climate resilient development policies and programs. He added that “the response strategy and action plan aims to maintain the emission levels of Sierra Leone relatively low or neutral by reducing her carbon footprint and by following green growth pathways in all economic sectors” as well as further aims to strengthen the county’s resilience to climate change and its adaptive capacity, particularly in vulnerable economic sectors and communities.

According to Professor Jaward, as a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, Sierra Leone through the EPASL had put forward wide ranging plans to pursue climate actions through the implementation of the Nationally Determine Contributions (NDCs) which has a wide range of priority actions which “we want to build into ambitious pipeline projects for funding by the Green Climate Fund (GCF)”.

Furthermore, Dr. Jaward told the gathering that the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone had drafted a National Climate Finance Framework (NCFF) that will enhance the establishment of a National Climate Change Fund (NCCF) which will help the country to mobilize resources both domestic and international from various climate financing windows including the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The country also has other related policies like the National Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Forestry, National Environment, National Land, and the National water and sanitation policies. All of these he said “influence the country’s decision especially in the implementation of a climate resilient solution”.

Commenting further on the support the country had received, Dr. Jaward said Sierra Leone had received tremendous support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) ranging from the country technical support from the regional GCF Advisor in drafting the General Readiness Proposal and Pipeline Support, approved capacity building support for the EPA accreditation process, guidance on Readiness proposal which has been submitted for approval and guidance on the drafting of the country’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP).

Sierra Leone has a national policy on Private Public Partnership (PPP) that supports the private sector engagement to facilitate economic growth and development. Dr. Jaward said most of the frameworks developed had an element of private sector involvement especially in the implementation of priority areas and “we are building synergies with existing private sector programmes for expansion” adding that “we hope to use the readiness funds when approved to expand the scope of operations and create a platform for private sector to meet and exchange ideas and support the effective implementation of climate initiatives already spelt-out in the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution document”.

The country has also developed a National Midterm Development Plan (NMTDP 2019-2013) which is the country’s new development trajectory document. “This shows our aspirations to sustainable development and environmental sustainability with an element of a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) Framework for government monitoring of deliverables”. This document specifies the role of the private sector in stimulating economic growth and development and it highlights key interventions to facilitate private sector involvement in developing and implementing an ambitious pipeline programme.

It is hoped that such a high level engagement would help to mobilize much needed revenue for the implementation of green and environmentally sustainable projects within various sectors in Sierra Leone.

Environment Protection Agency Inspects Facilities of Africell’s Mobile Company in Kailahun District

As a responsible Government Agency working hard to ensure that the environment of Sierra Leone is effectively protected for human, plants and animal habitation, the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone has carried out monitoring exercise on Africell facilities in three Chiefdoms in Kailahun District in the Eastern Province. This monitoring is part of routine activities undertaken by the Agency to ensure that proponent adhere to guidelines as stated in the Environmental Management Plan (EMP). It is a standard procedure as per the Environmental Impact Assessment License for the Agency to undertake regular follow up visits to ensure these facilities are managed in accordance with the established environmental best practice. The monitoring exercise targeted three Africell facilities in Pendembu in the Upper Bambara Chiefdom, Daru in the Jawei Chiefdom and Nianahun in the Njaluahun Chiefdom. The monitoring was done based on the environmental footprint of Africell focusing on the level of air quality in the facility,noise pollution, waste management, emission, health and safety of staff amongst others. This inspection was conducted by a team of EPASL Staff from the Bo Regional Office and Africell Consultant and Engineers. In all the stations visited, no significant issue of environmental consequence was observed; Decibel readings from Noise meter were good, which means that it was at acceptable international standard. This was very important since these stations are situated in nearby residential areas, it was imperative for EPASL to assess how much impact this will have on those resident in the area. Also Emission Tester was used to measure the amount of emission which shows good. This was largely due to the fact that the generators are fairly new and regular maintenance is done every two hundred and fifty (250 hrs.) hours. It was observed that waste was properly managed as there was no evidence of waste during the time of visit. Also the storage of fuel was very conducive as it is bonded with hydro carbon trap to control spillage. However, they were advised to remove the old fuel tank that was no longer in use from the station in Pendembu, display safety signs like “no smoking” in all three stations, display relevant environmental management plan policies, display Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) License and in the near future to transition to renewable energy which are more cleaner, sustainable and environmentally friendly. This is very significant as the motive of the monitoring team was not only to identify fault but to also provide professional advice to Africell with the view to helping them improve on their environmental footprint thereby mitigating climate change impact. Moreover, EPASL appreciates strides being put in place by Africell to keep pace with best practices that ensures sustainable environmental management. All the facilities visited were enclosed in fence and protected by Security Guards. What was even more significant is the hybrid system Africell has put in place to manage power generated at these stations. There is a rechargeable battery which keeps power for a couple of hours which minimizes generator use considerably reducing noise and emission. This is a move that will improve air quality in the areas and mitigate Climate Change Impact. On the whole, Mr. Syl Kamara a Consultant who works for Africell and was part of the exercise commended the EPASL for regularly conducting monitoring exercises. He said this will contribute to the sustainable management of the environment and help proponents like Africell improve on its environmental footprint and adhere to best practices that will make the environment conducive for human, plants and animal habitation.

EPA-SL SOLICIT SUPPORT FROM SOUTH AND EASTERN REGIONAL STAKEHOLDERS ON ENFORCEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES

The Chairman Bo District Council said Environment was critical for the peaceful existence of people in Sierra Leone. Joseph Bindi made the statement during a one-day consultative forum in Bo organized by the Environment Protect Agency Sierra Leone EPASL with over 200 participants drawn from MDAs and other sectors within the East and Southern region including the local district councils, security forces, paramount chiefs, members of parliaments, Civil society and the media. He said the forum was aimed at giving opportunities to all sectors to adopt and enforce policies that would help to protect and maintain the environment noting Sierra has over the years experienced worst environmental degradation. He said the country was yarning towards development adding development will never come if relevant actions were not taken to maintain a friendly environment. The Paramount Chief Prince Boima Kakua chiefdom Bo said decentralization was crucial in addressing challenges of environmental issues. He expressed frustration over lack of distinction between those he referred to as criminals to environmental degradation and human rights issues including law enforcement on environmental issues. He said most often advocates mount social pressure on environmental law enforcement structures aimed at tracking down defaulters of environmental issues. He said there were already several laws on environmental protection noting compliance with the law was a major challenge. He called on all stake holders to adopt the character of self- regulation and discipline including promotion of issues on environmental protection for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans. Delivering a key note address Momodu Alrashid Bah, Director Environment Protection Agency said the discussion would prioritize key environmental issues for effective collaboration among relevant stake holders in the environment sector in order to promote sound environmental governance and management in Sierra Leone. He disclosed Sierra Leone has been identified by experts as disaster prone as a result of what he called irrational behaviors and unsustainable practices in handling the environment and its natural resources. Mr. Bah added environmental problems were already costing and devastating the inhabitants of Sierra Leone
including damage to homes, businesses and crops, and increased social cost on Sierra Leoneans. He recalled the recent disasters in the country including mudslide, bush fire and flooding noting those awkward developments should remind Sierra Leoneans of their responsibilities to take concrete actions in addressing environmental challenges and ensure strong and resilient communities across the country. He expressed frustration that the country was currently facing several environmental challenges ranging from deforestation, wild bush fire, environmental pollution, and misuse of hazardous chemicals including mercury, improper waste management, irresponsible mining and timber logging among others. He added that if those challenges were not addressed the country‟s development gains would be hindered and undermined. He informed participants that EPASL has however developed environmental policies and regulations that would promote sound environmental management and quality control.

EPASL CONCLUDES A FIVE-DAY COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN THE SOUTHERN REGION

The Environment Protection Agency Sierra Leone EPASL in collaboration with Moyamba District council, civil society organizations, fire force and the media has concluded a five-day Community Engagement on mainly bush fire. The awareness raising campaign, „Village to Village‟ targeted five communities in Moyamba district that have recently suffered from severe fire incidents that have left over forty houses burnt and five hundred people homeless. Fatmata Bakarr Sesay, Senior Information Education and Communication Officer of EPASL said the Agency was deeply disturbed by the precarious situation of victims of the incidents noting raising awareness on the dangers of fire was crucial in protecting the environment. She said it was necessary for communities to review their farming methods from what she called „Slash and burn to inland valley swamp‟ as one of the ways of preventing incidences of fire and promote environment protection issues. She described the traditional method (slash and burn) as a major factor responsible for fire disaster and climate change. She cautioned community members that adopting inland valley swamp would not only increase their yield and production but would also create a friendly environment for them in their communities. One of the victims and a mother, Gbassay Turay in Mosorie Village, Bumpeh Chiefdom said she was greatly divested of three to the recent fire incidents. She acknowledged the issues presented by the visiting team as fact but noted as locals they were accustomed to the crude method for their farming activities which she described as their main source of livelihood. She called on the Agency to develop a project that would enable EPA to transform the theories into practical implementation with them in the communities. Another victim, Moses Simbo who lost three houses, motor bike, car engine and other valuables dismissed the claims of bush fire being responsible for burning down his houses but attributed the problems to malice by those he referred to as wicked people. He said most often drivers and their apprentices irresponsibly smoke and drop cigarette juts along the Bo Freetown high way: an act he said was responsible for most of the fire incidents. Alhaji Ansumana Tarawalie, Development and Planning Officer of Moyamba District Council encouraged the communities to adopt environmental protection policies that would better promote their fundamental rights, safety and security. He said even though the local council was sympathizing with the victims, council was fully prepared to work with local authorities in enforcing the bye laws relating to environmental protection issues. Almost all of the victims in the five communities visited by the team have sought refuge to their nearby communities and have called on the government and its partners to support them before it was too late. The five communities included Bengeh village, Bumpeh chiefdom, of about nine houses. Mosorie Pumpeh Chiefdom eleven houses out 15, Old Combihun Fakunya chiefdom with seven houses, Momaligie Village ten houses including a mosque, Bununbu in the Kayamba chiefdom four houses. Bush fires also accounts for health problems like respiratory diseases encountered by most people in the rural areas. It is hoped that such vital awareness raising exercises conducted by the EPA would alert their minds to the devastating consequences of bush fires and help to minimize the practice.

EPA-SL Executive Chairman donates Agricultural Tools to Rural Women’s Groups

The Executive Chairman of the Environment Protection Agency – Sierra Leone, Prof. Foday Moriba Jaward has donated assorted agricultural equipment and seeds worth millions of leones as alternative livelihood support to agricultural women‟s and youth groups in Moymaba, Bo and Kailahun districts that are purely engaged in eco-friendly farming. The objective of the donations was to encourage farmers to embark on what is known as „Climate Smart Agriculture‟ and to help change their mindset on traditional modes of agriculture which, over the years, have accounted for the destruction of a substantial portion of Sierra Leone‟s forest cover. The move was also intended to encourage other agricultural women‟s groups to engage in Inland Valley Swamp (IVS) farming which would in turn ensure a reduction in the clearing of forests for agricultural purposes. Invariably, some of the traditional roles of women in rural areas require them to engage in series of
practices like growing of crops, cutting down of trees for charcoal production and fuel wood, all of which contribute to deforestation and have a negative effect on environmental protection. It is believed that for several years, Sierra Leone‟s beautiful landscape has been left at the mercy of crude farming methods as a result of which vast areas of its forest cover have been depleted. Professor Jaward noted that the donations will help to motivate others who are engaged in traditional livelihood activities such as „slash and burn‟ agriculture, setting of bushfires, charcoal production and other activities detrimental to the environment to change course and engage in more environmentally friendly activities. Handing over the items, Prof. Jaward commended the people of Mano Dasse Chiefdom in the Moyamba district, Bo and Jojoima in the Malema Chiefdom, Kailahun districts for banning charcoal production and engaging in eco-friendly farming activities in their respective communities. He noted that the people of Mano Dasse Chiefdom in the Moyamba District were the first to place a ban on the cutting down of trees for charcoal production. He encouraged other groups to emulate such good examples adding deforestation was a major factor for the increase in climate change and global warming and that the EPA was working hard to ensure that the battle against deforestation in Sierra Leone is conquered. He further informed the people that the battle against deforestation was one such way that the people can support President Bio‟s vision for environmental sustainability. He therefore called on them to refrain from practices that pose a threat to the environment. The Deputy Director of Field Operations and Extension, Mr. Lamin Opie Tarawalie commended the
people for their commitment to environmental safety and admonished them to make good use of the opportunity presented to them by Prof. Jaward. Responding to the donations, the Local Authorities including the Speaker of Mano Dasse Chiefdom, Moyamba District, the Paramont Chief of Malema Chiefdom, Kailahun district and heads of women‟s groups in the said chiefdoms commended Prof. Jaward for his support and promised to do more to work with EPA in upholding the requisite environmental standards to combat deforestation in their respective communities. Since he took over as Executive Chairman of the EPA-SL, Prof. Jaward has placed premium on afforestation as a way of restoring the integrity of the country‟s environment.

Women during the occasion

Working towards Safeguarding Rural Communities with Bush Fire Messages

Working towards Safeguarding the Communities through robust awareness raising about the dangers of wild bush fire is key to the work of the Environment Protection Agency Sierra Leone EPASL. In its quest to enhance awareness on the dangers of the uncontrolled bush burning during the dry seasons in the Rural Communities across the Country, the Agency has championed the bush fire campaign to Rural Communities across the country. This awareness raising (community engagement) already was extended to Communities that are exposed to wild bush fires caused by defaulters who sometimes live within the Communities. The intensive bush fire education was carried out in the North, South and Eastern regions of the country. For the Southern Region, more than one thousand five hundred (1,500) residents were educated about the dangers of bush fire in Moyamba and Bo Districts while in the Northern region, more than 2000 people benefited from the wild bush fire education in more than three Communities in the Bombali District. In the Eastern Region, various Communities have also benefited from the awareness raising activities of EPASL. The outreach (sensitization) included presentations of messages on the environment and wild bush burning as well as video screening in the various Communities in the three regions.
ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AGENCY: Working towards Safeguarding Rural Communities with Bush Fire Messages
During her presentation the Deputy Director of Natural Resource Management, Mrs. Ramatu Massaquoi stressed the importance of keeping the environment safe and the effects of wild bush fires on their environments and Communities in general.
Following the presentation of various videos on wild bush fire in all the Communities, the Assistant Head of Information Education and Communication Department of the Agency, Mrs. Fatima Bakarr-Sesay also spoke about the effects of bush fire in the Communities and reiterated the efforts and mandate of the Agency to promote environmental issues in the country and ensure Communities live without environmental disasters. The issue of bylaws in the Communities was also central during the activities in the regions. While some Communities have adopted bye-laws to deter Offenders of wild bush fire in the various Communities, others do not have such bylaws.
Madam Melisa Ndure, the Senior Environment Officer of the Agency from the Natural Resource Management Department expressed the Agency’s interest in having bylaws in the various Communities. To those Communities that have these existing bylaws, Madam Ndure encouraged their local Heads to strengthen those existing bylaws and encouraged those without bylaws to formulate their own bush fire guiding rules. In all the Regions where the awareness and sensitizations meetings on wild bush fire were held, the Community people were happy to receive the information. Some of the Elders in those Villages said even though they have been using their bylaws in the various Communities, some of them have not been adhered to. In other to help the Agency with their efforts towards protecting the environment and the Communities, the elders promised to support the Agency with the implementation of these bylaws in other to help to protect their property and communities in general. In one of such Communities an elder, Philip Sei cautioned his Community Stakeholders that those in the habit of smoking cigarettes should not throw the remnant to the bush; a practice he said is one of the main contributing factors of wild bush fire in the Country. He called on parents to help control their Children against bush fire and encouraged the Chiefs to enforce the bylaws in the Communities.

Locals listen to EPASL Senior Regional Officer, Paul Dumbuya

EPA-SL BOSS LAUNCHES ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS CAMPAIGN AT NJALA UNIVERSITY

As Sierra Leone continues to face environmental challenges, awareness raising on environmental protection remains a key priority on the Agency‟s Strategic Plan. As a way of reinforcing its partnerships with learning institutions the Executive Chairman EPASL, Prof. Jaward has launched the “capacity building and awareness raising campaign on environmental Management and quality control at Njala University campus, Mokonde. Prof. Jaward had been invited to deliver a keynote address at this event which was organized by the student Union government of Njala University. Delivering his keynote address, Prof. Jaward commended the students for their resourcefulness and dedication and noted that the project was consistent with President Bio‟s vision on environmental protection in Sierra Leone.
He recalled that shortly after taking office as Executive Chairman of the EPA, he realized that “environmental protection and management in Sierra Leone may never be attained if the vast majority of people continue to be illinformed about the factors that are responsible for the depletion of our environment”. He further noted that young people were an important asset in the development of Sierra Leone and that the task they had set themselves was one that would contribute positively towards the realization of his objectives as head of the EPASL. Prof. Jaward mentioned a number of other priority areas which he said were intended to change the narrative in terms of environmental protection and management in Sierra Leone. These measures include the development of sector specific Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Legislations/ Regulations fees for environmental compliance, development of a National Integrated Waste Management Strategy, nation-wide tree planting,
vehicle Emissions testing and other sources of emissions, development of a National Communication Strategy on Environmental Education and Awareness Raising, Capacity Building and Logistics Support for effective environmental monitoring and governance and the harmonization of sector environmental policy and legislation for proper environmental protection and management in Sierra Leone. The Head of department of Environmental Chemistry, Njala University, and Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Alhaji Brima Geogra, commended EPA for its financial support without which, according to him, the programme would not have materialized. Dr. Geogra admonished the students to continue to support EPA in its drive to improve environmental management in Sierra Leone. Other dignitaries at the ceremony included the Managing Director of MIRO and a representative from the Welt Hunger Hilfe (WHH), a German NGO based in Kenema.

Executive Chairman, Dr. Jaward making a statement in Mokonde

EPASL CONDUCTED TWO DAYS NATIONAL VALIDATION WORKSHOP ON THE REVIEWED AND UPDATED NAP PLAN OF THE STOCKHOLM CONVENTION

The Environment Protection Agency Sierra Leone (EPA-SL) with support from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) has recently concluded a two-day national validation consultative forum  with partners on the “Review and Updated National Implementation plan (NIP) to popularize the Stockholm convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants” (POPs) in Sierra Leone. The focus of the engagement was to validate and popularize the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) through the National Implementation Plan in order to protect human health from the impact associated with the unprecedented and unintentional use of hazardous chemicals like POPs on the environment.  Delivering a keynote address, the Executive Chairman of the Environment Protection Agency Sierra Leone (EPA-SL) Professor Foday Moriba Jaward recalled that the Stockholm Convention on POPs in 2016 added eleven (11) more chemicals to the already existing twelve (12) on which the 2008 National Implementation Plan was developed, amounting to twenty (23) POPs.  He said Sierra Leone as a member country to the convention must endeavor to reduce hazardous wastes in order to protect human health and environment. He disclosed the Agency together with its international partners was developing the national plans to implement the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Rotterdam and the Basel Conventions. He further added that, it was not a secret that, POPs were associated with human health, causing cancer and lung disease. Laboratory studies have shown that low dose of certain POPs in humans could adversely affect the human system. The future success of chemical management and the ability to eliminate toxic chemicals in cities, industries and in the food system depend on the effective implementation of the Stockholm Convention on POPs and other Conventions and Protocols on chemicals. Professor Jaward mentioned that, Sierra Leone as a member country within the United Nations must be committed to its obligations to join the global efforts to phase out hazardous chemicals in Sierra Leone.   Furthermore, Professor Andrew Boma in his opening statement mentioned that, there has been a drastic growth in hazardous chemicals and pesticides production in trade during the past three decades and this he said has raised public concern about their harmful impacts on human health and the environment. Since chemical contamination shows no respect for territorial borders, it is important for Sierra Leone to join other countries and organizations to take collective action against hazardous chemicals and pesticides. Adding that, the good work of the Executive Chairman of the EPA-SL has created positive impact to ensure a sustainable environment.   Professor Boma, advised participants to embrace the draft validation document on controlling Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) for the protection of humans and the environment. The draft document was to create a sound environmental management in Sierra Leone as developing nations are considering alternatives to phase out hazardous chemicals like POPs on the environment.