Sierra Leoneans are anguished after a centuries-old iconic cotton tree was toppled by wind Thursday following torrential rains.
President Julius Maada Bio said the incident has left a gap in people’s hearts, especially since the tree was regarded as a national treasure.
There is no stronger symbol of our national story than the Cotton Tree, a physical embodiment of where we come from as a country, Bio said.
Standing 70 meters tall and 15 meters wide, the roughly 400-year-old tree has been the country’s national symbol for decades.
The tree has appeared on bank notes, national publications and creative works by the citizens and was a tourist destination.
Late Queen Elizabeth II, had visited the spot to mark the country’s independence in 1961, according to a statement by Zebek International.