Key Facts about Sierra Leone

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Sierra Leone’s President recently declared a national emergency on substance abuse following calls on his government to crack down on the rising use of a cheap and sometimes deadly synthetic drug known as kush.

About Sierra Leone

  • It is a tropical country in West Africa, on the Atlantic coast.
  • Borders: It is bordered on the north and east by Guinea, on the south by Liberia, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Geography: The nation is largely made up of lightly wooded hills with a concentration of mangrove swampsalong the coast
  • Rivers: Some of the major ones include the Rokel River, Taia River, Moa River, and Sewa River.
  • History:
    • Sierra Leone was colonized in 1787 by formerly enslaved people arriving from England; other groups followed from Nova Scotia (1792) and Jamaica (1800).
    • They were sponsored and governed by the private Sierra Leone Company until 1808, when Britain made Sierra Leone a crown colony.
    • In 1961, Sierra Leone became independent of the UK. 
  • Population: It has a population of about 7.5 million people. It is home to 16 ethnic groups. Each group has their own languageand traditional attire.
  • Language: English is the official language; however, Krio is the language that is understoodby most of the population.
  • Government: It is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature
  • Capital: The capital, Freetown, commands one of the world’s largest natural harbours.
  • Economy:
    • Although most of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, Sierra Leone is also a mining centre.
    • Its land yields diamonds, gold, bauxite, and rutile (titanium dioxide).

Q1: What are mangrove swamps?

Mangrove swamps are coastal wetlands found in tropical and subtropical regions. They are characterized by halophytic (salt loving) trees, shrubs and other plants growing in brackish to saline tidal waters. These wetlands are often found in estuaries, where fresh water meets salt water and are infamous for their impenetrable maze of woody vegetation.

Source: Sierra Leone declares national emergency on drug abuse