The country’s president, Julius Maada Bio, said Thursday that heavy rains in Sierra Leone’s capital have caused the fall of a centuries-old cotton tree, a national treasure whose loss has left a “hole” in people’s hearts.
“There is no more powerful symbol of our national story than the cotton tree, which is a physical embodiment of where we come from as a country,” Pugh told the Associated Press. “Nothing in nature lasts forever, so our challenge is to revive, nurture and develop that powerful African spirit for a long time.”
The tree, which is 70 meters tall and 15 meters wide, is about 400 years old and has been a national symbol of Sierra Leone for decades.
It has appeared on banknotes, woven into lullabies and has been visited by royalty, such as Queen Elizabeth II, to celebrate the country’s independence in 1961, according to a statement from Zebek International, a news agency that works with the government of Sierra Leone.
While the tree has withstood damage over the years, including a lightning strike that left it partially burned, Wednesday’s storm left nothing of the tree but a stump.
For Sierra Leone, the loss is similar to the fire that destroyed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in 2019, the state news agency Zybek reported.
Sierra Leone is among the countries most affected by climate change. In 2017 more than 1,000 people were killed in a landslide caused by heavy rains.
Chief Pyo said he looks forward to discussions on how best to use space.
“What the cotton tree represents will last: how something so large and powerful can grow from something (as small) as a seed, how many people can gather together under the protection of something greater than the sum of their parts; and how centuries it will be the embodiment of our history, our unity and our resilience.”
© 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
the quote: centuries-old cotton tree, national symbol for decades, fell in storm in Sierra Leone (2023, May 25) Retrieved May 25, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-centre-old-cotton- National Tree of Decades. html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.