Monday, September 11, 2017

Regent - A mountain village in Sierra Leone

I'm listening to the soft sounds of Irish rainfall as I type.  A few week ago, a mudslide caused by the collapse of a hillside in the Sierra Leonean village of  Regent left almost 1,000 people dead and 20,000 homeless.

I lived in the village of Leicester which is a few kilometres from Regent from 1989 to 1991.  Leicester, Gloucester, Regent and Charlotte were established by the British as homes for freed slaves from Britain and inland Africa after slavery was abolished in 1808.
Sometimes, at the weekend, I walked from Leicester, through Gloucester to Regent watching the everyday drama of life - women pounding yams into a dish called foo-foo in a wooden mortar;  red chillies drying in the heat of the equatorial sun; men and women tending tiny patches of garden on narrow hill slopes and barefoot children playing with hens sculpted from old clothes hangers.

The road to Regent

In Leicester with Mrs Sesay and Lesley Harrison

Growing vegetables near Regent

I took these photos on my walks.  I hope they give an idea of how things were before the effects of deforestation, global warming and poverty caused the recent catastrophe.

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