Sierra Leone.  A storm topples the centuries-old “cotton tree,” the nation’s symbol

Sierra Leone. A storm topples the centuries-old “cotton tree,” the nation’s symbol

It was a national treasure whose loss remains to this day “a void” in the hearts of men, That said the Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio on Thursday.

The torrential rains caused the fall famous cotton tree, Landmarks of the capital Freetown and symbol of freedom for the whole country.

“There is no symbol of our national history stronger than the cotton tree, a physical embodiment of where we come from, Bio told the Associated Press.

70 meters high and 15 meters wide, the tree had about 400 years. Got a visit from Queen Elizabeth the second to mark the country’s independence celebrations in 1961, and his image still appears on banknotes today.

Over the years, the facility has withstood inclement weather, including a lightning strike that partially burned it down, but Nothing could counter the storm that struck on Wednesday. Last week, a violent storm snapped one of the branches off, but the tree was believed to survive.

The “cotton tree” was that capital city landmark, Located in the middle of a roundabout in central Freetown, near the National Museum and the President’s Office, it is a symbol of what was then a West African country founded by freed American slaves.

It is said that the first settlers reunited when they arrived by ship in the late 17th century under its branches to pray before moving into their new home. The tree was also survived the violence of the Civil War fought in Sierra Leone between 1991 and 2002.

“It was considered a symbol of freedom by the first settlers,” the president wrote on Twitter. “We’re going to have something in the same place that’s going to bear witness the place of the great ‘cotton tree’ in our history”.

According to the United Nations Sierra Leone is among the 10 percent of countries in the world most affected by climate change and currently one of the least able to deal with its effects.

sudden weather events, Severe floods, landslides and crop failures are increasing. In 2017, more than a thousand people died in a landslide caused by heavy rains.

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