Una morning!!! Aw di bodi? Good morning all the people! How are you? This is my first month and a half here in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and I didn’t take my time to write, sorry, I was living. First of all I would like to Thanks all the people who encouraged me to come and live this experience, my grandfather to do it possible, my parents, friends, Tchak, my University, lectures, my mentor M.Henderson-Peal and also all the people here. I would like to start making a short introduction of this wonderful country.
Sierra Leone is a country on the coast of West Africa bordered only by the Atlantic Ocean, Guinea and Liberia. With an area of 71,740 km² it is just slightly larger than Ireland. Sierra Leone is divided into four administrative regions: the Northern Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area; which are subdivided into fourteen districts. Each district has its own directly elected local government known as district council, headed by a council chairman, in whom local executive authority is vested.
Freetown is the capital, largest city as well as its economic, commercial and political centre. Bo is the second largest city. Other major cities with a population above 100,000 are Kenema, Makeni and Koidu Town.
The country has a population of 6 million people with a density of 79 people/sq.km (in Freetown 1224).
Spoken languages are English (official), English Creole, Temne, and other West African languages. Major ethnic groups: 35% Temne (in north), 31% Mende (south-east), Limbo, Kono, Mandingo, Fula, Krio.
The major religion with a 77% of population is Islam, 21% Christian. Sierra Leone has a tropical climate along the coast and dry savannah in north and the rainy season from may-October, with peak in July- Aug.
Sierra Leone was officially declared independent from Britain in 1961. Since that time the country has been plague by several coups and conflicts. Sierra Leone is gradually emerging from an era of civil conflict, which began in 1991 and caused destruction of the agriculture and mining sectors, and the collapse of public services, health and education. The war led to the displacement of two and a half million people, almost half of the country’s population, the death of over 70,000 people, 2.6 million displaced people and immeasurable suffering (World Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy Paper, 2006).
Sierra Leone is one of the world’s economically poorest countries. As recently as 2013, it sat at the bottom of the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Human Development Index (IDH) 177th of 185 countries monitored. The country ranks 31 on the failed state index, and 52 out of 158 on the Global Peace Index. Sierra Leone’s child development index is 55.94, placing the country 136 out of 137. Global Food Security Index (GFSI) place Sierra Leone 98 out of 107 countries in 2013.
Pop. Affected by natural disasters (average/year/mln people): 361 World Risk Index: 33 (173)
These are the official figures obtained from UN documents.