Hurricane Downed Symbolic 400-12 months-Previous Cotton Tree in Sierra Leone | Historical past information
The tree has been an emblem of freedom and has been a nationwide landmark for hundreds of years.
Torrential rains in Sierra Leone’s capital toppled a centuries-old cotton tree, a nationwide treasure whose loss has left a “hole” in individuals’s hearts, says President Julius Maada Bio.
“There is no such thing as a stronger image of our nationwide historical past than the cotton tree, the bodily embodiment of the place we come from as a rustic,” Biot instructed the Related Press on Thursday. “Nothing in nature lasts ceaselessly, so our activity is to revive, nurture and develop that highly effective African spirit that he has represented for thus lengthy.”
The roughly 400-year-old tree, 70 meters (230 ft) tall and 15 meters (50 ft) broad, has been the nationwide image of Sierra Leone for many years.
The cotton tree was an essential landmark within the West African nation based by former enslaved Africans who returned from the USA. Locals say that when the returnees arrived by boat within the late 1700s, they gathered below its branches to supply prayers to their new house, which they named Freetown.
The tree subsequently appeared on the nation’s banknotes and was celebrated in nursery rhymes. It was additionally visited by Queen Elizabeth II to rejoice Sierra Leone’s independence from British colonial rule in 1961.
“Early settlers noticed it as an emblem of liberty and liberty,” the president tweeted.
“We’ve to see what we’re going to do to maintain the historical past of this tree right here,” Biot instructed Reuters the place it as soon as stood. “I need to have a bit of this historical past, wherever I’m – in a state home, museum or metropolis corridor.”
Whereas the tree has withstood injury through the years, together with a lightning strike that left it burned, Wednesday’s storm left nothing however a stump of the tree.
Sierra Leone is among the many nations most affected by local weather change. In 2017, greater than 1,000 individuals died in a landslide attributable to heavy rains.