Bo is the second largest city in Sierra Leone (after the capital, Freetown) and the largest city in southeastern Sierra Leone. The city is located in the Southern Province and lies 155 miles (249 km)[1] (by road) south-east of Freetown. The city serve as the capital and administrative center of Bo District. After Freetown, Bo is the leading educational, transportational, commercial and cultural center of Sierra Leone, with a current population of 215,474 [2].

The population of the city is ethnically and culturally diverse. The city is home to a significant number of virtually all of the country’s ethnic group, though the Mende people make up the largest ethnic group. Like in virtually all parts of Sierra Leone, the Krio language is the most widely spoken language in Bo and is used as the primary language of communication in the city.

The city is the primary home of Njala University, the second largest university in Sierra Leone, after the Fourah Bay College in Freetown. The city is home to the Christ the King College, one of the most prominent colleges in Sierra Leone. Bo is also home to The Bo Government Secondary School (commonly known as Bo School), which is one of the biggest and most prominent secondary schools in Sierra Leone.

This is a picture of Bo-Town's shopping center that we visited. Notice the women in forefront.

The school not only attract students from all parts of Sierra Leone, but also attract international students from other West African nations. The school has a history of producing some of Sierra Leon’s most gifted students, including some of the country’s senior politicians.

* 1 History
* 2 Government
* 3 Geography and climate
* 4 Links
* 5 Education
o 5.1 Notable Secondary Schools in Bo
* 6 Media
* 7 Sport
* 8 Crime
* 9 Demographics
* 10 Bo Airport
* 11 Notable people from Bo
* 12 Namesakes
* 13 References

[edit] History

Centrally located, Bo lies on the main rail line east and south of Freetown which was closed in 1974. From 1930 until independence 1961, it was the capital of the Protectorate of Sierra Leone. The city is the administrative center of the Southern Province. After Freetown, Bo is the leading transportation, commercial, and educational center of Sierra Leone. Bo began its modern development with the coming of the railroad in 1889 and became an educational center in 1906, when the Bo Government Secondary School was established.

The inhabitants of Bo are known for their resolve, resistance and hospitality. The town was named after its generosity. An elephant was killed close to what is now known as Bo Parking Ground. People from the surrounding villages came to receive their share. Because the meat was so large, the hunter spent days distributing it and the words “Bo- lor” (which in Mende language means “this is yours,” with reference to the meat) was said so much that the elders and visitors decided to name the place Bo. “Bo-lor” in Mende also translates to “this is Bo.”
[edit] Government

The city of Bo is governed with a city council form of government, which is headed by a mayor, in whom executive authority is vested. The mayor is responsible for the general management of the city and for seeing that all laws are enforced. The mayor is elected directly by the people of Bo. The current mayor of Bo is Wusu Sannoh, he is a member of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). The city and the entire Bo District is a stronghold of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party. In the second round of the 2007 Sierra Leone presidential election, the incumbent vice president of Sierra Leone Solomon Berewa and candidate of the then ruling SLPP party got 67% of the vote in Bo District, while the leader of the main opposition party and current president of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma of the All People’s Congress (APC) got 30% of the vote in the second round in the district.
[edit] Geography and climate

Like the rest of Sierra Leone, Bo has a tropical climate with a rainy season from May to October and a dry season from November to April. Average annual precipitation varies from 5,080 mm (200 inches). The prevailing winds are the SW Monsoon during the wet season and the northeastern Harmattan which is a dust laden wind from the Sahara Desert during the dry season. Average temperature ranges in Bo are from 21 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit) to 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) all year.
[edit] Links

In 1981 Bo District formed ‘One World Link’ (OWL)[2] (see UKOWLA) with Warwick District and Leamington Spa in the UK. This was inspired by a desire for justice, equality, human understanding and mutual support. Over the years it has helped to strengthen both communities and their awareness of global and development issues. The many outcomes of the link include women’s groups, school links, an online archive, an education programme[3] and the opening, in 2008, of a Community Centre in Bo city. Immediate plans include collaboration on a pilot environmental programme for the collection and disposal of waste. There is also a youth wing which has 20 registered youth groups, that serve over 1000 young people.[4]

The Bo District Development Association (BODDA – UK) was formed in the United Kingdom on 7 September 2003 by a group of natives from Bo District in Sierra Leone. The primary purpose for the formation of this organization is for its membership to explore every possible lawful avenue to solicit generous donations in cash, food, clothing, educational and agricultural.

Bo District Development Association (BODDA – UK)has been involved in various projects including sponsorships in Sierra Leone and the UK e.g.Introduction of the BODDA Civic Award – in which the people of Bo are annually awarded for their contributions towards Nation building and Community Development (this is an effort to encourage the people of Bo in national development and citizenship; Donation of two hundred computers and other School materials to various Schools in Bo in 2007; Donation of medical equipments to the Bo Government Hospital and books to the Bo Regional library in January 2010; In August 2006 in partnership with the British Council Sierra Leone, They were able to facilitate a one month tour for six artists from Bo with the aim to promote awareness of global issues through music and encourage global citizenship through the linking of youth groups in the UK and Sierra Leone.

The Organisation also award scholarship to students from poor family background who are unable to meet their educational needs. You can visit BODDA – UK website on
[edit] Education

Like in virtually all parts of Sierra Leone, the Krio language is widely spoken in the city Bo, although English is the official language spoken at schools and government places. Bo has one of the highest literacy rates in Sierra Leone. The city is home to many primary schools as well as several secondary schools, including one of the elite secondary schools in West Africa, The Bo Government Secondary School (commonly known as Bo School). The school was founded in 1906 by British educationist Leslie Probyn to educate the children of Bo Town. The school has a long history of producing the elite of Sierra Leone, especially the country’s top politicians.

Bo School is sited on 13.5 acres (55,000 m2) of land in the heart of Bo Town. The school itself is situated in pleasant surroundings and within walking distance of the government hospital, government post office, police station, and the main shopping center of Bo Town.

A football field, volleyball court, basketball court, long tennis court, and cricket pitch enrich the recreational facilities the school provides. There are plans to rehabilitate the school swimming pool.

Bo School also maintains a unique tradition of seniority which has consistently augured well for social cohesion among the students. Maggots/Greeners/Rustics are either junior or newer members of the school (specifically those with more recent admission numbers). They are expected to always observe all rules of deference association with their positions and comply fully with specific instructions from senior students.
[edit] Notable Secondary Schools in Bo

* Christ the king College secondary school.
* Bo Government Secondary School
* Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary School
* Queen of the Rosary Secondary School
* Comprehensive Secondary School
* St. Andrews Secondary School
* Bo Commercial Secondary school
* SLMB Secondary School
* St. Pauls Junior Secondary School

[edit] Media

Bo is the second most important city in Sierra Leone, after the capital Freetown. The two main local radio stations in Bo are Kiss FM 104, and Radio New Song 97.5. The local service of the national broadcaster, SLBS, transmits on 96.5. Commercial station Capital Radio uses 102.3 and BBC World Service also has an FM relay.
[edit] Sport

Like the rest of Sierra Leone, football is the most popular sport in the city. Bo has two football clubs in the Sierra Leone National Premier League, Bo Rangers, and Nepean Stars. Both clubs play their home games at the Bo Stadium. Another club from Bo Town called the Kakua Rangers plays in the Sierra Leone National First Division, the second highest football league in Sierra Leone, after the Sierra Leone National Premier League. There are several clubs from Bo Town in the lower divisions of Sierra Leone league system.
[edit] Crime

Since the end of the civil war in 2002, there has been an increase in homicide, armed robbery, home invasion and carjacking in Bo Town. Petty crime and pick pocketing of wallets, cell phones, and passports are very common in the city. Over the past year, criminal exploits have become more aggressive. Increasingly operating in numbers and while heavily armed. Like in most West African countries, local criminals target expatriates due to their perceived wealth.
[edit] Demographics

Bo has an ethnically diverse population, although the Mende make up the majority. The city is home to all of the country’s ethnic groups as well as a large Liberian community. Bo is home to large groups of Muslims and Christians.
[edit] Bo Airport

Bo Airport serves the Bo District and the Southern Province. There are regular connections from Bo to Freetown, and other major cities in the country.[5]

Based on a long-term study from 1987 to the present and incorporating storytelling apprenticeship, ethnographic fieldwork, and (largely informal) interviews, this paper discusses the dynamic nature of oral art as manifested through Themne storytellers’ efforts to vary the oral performance. It explores the relationship between multimedia resources, both intrinsic and external to the performance environment, as well as artistic variation and social aesthetics, along with the audiences’ appreciation and interpretation of oral performances. It argues that the impulse toward social aesthetics is responsible for the oral artists’ deployment of multimedia resources and their varying of oral narratives during storytelling. Specifically, it examines how sociability, the physical setting of performance, and belief systems or worldview function as paradigms of social aesthetics, focusing on their influence on artistic variation and creativity among the Themne of Sierra Leone.
This is dedicated to “BNT”(Bush and Town)
Bush being the Village and Town the City..This is very pronousned now
in Africa especially after the local genocide war.

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Twenty-seven i-iqra students with two faculty advisors worked for four months, two on campus and two in Sierra Leone, FreeTown, to assist local stakeholders in planning for sustainable community redevelopment in BoTown. Energized by the MuyAFRICA Project vision for transforming this informal settlement into an eco-Star village, and with major programe sponsors once again the IQRA Foundation and the City of FreeTown’s Violence Protection through Urban Upgrading Programme (VPUU), the seven iiqra teams worked on project activities that extended many of the insights and plans begun in 2008.

With the City having learned in 2008 about the unique vision emerging through collaborative work centered at the MUYAFRICA Project and identified BOTOWN Park as a principle focus for informal settlement upgrading innovation, the students had a diverse set of project partners with whom to interact. They also faced challenges borne of the sometimes difficult process of aligning the agendas and capabilities of diverse redevelopment stakeholders. The teams nonetheless analyzed and advanced plans in each of their thematic areas, enjoyed interacting with community members and others, and built this website as a basis for ongoing exchange of ideas, research and experiences relating to life in informal settlements and the search for positive futures.

# Housing Backlog

Currently there are some 1.2 billion people worldwide experiencing “income poverty,”meaning they live on the equivalent of less than one dollar per day. The United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS) has estimated that 1.1 billion people are living in inadequate housing conditions in urban areas alone. UNCHS has estimated that some approximately 21 million new housing units are required each year in developing countries to accommodate growth in the number of households during the period between 2000 and 2010 period. Some 14 million additional units would be required each year for the next 20 years if the current housing deficit is to be replaced by 2020.

In Latin America, households need 5.4 times their annual income to buy a house. In Africa, they need an average of 12.5 times their annual income. Less than 20 percent of households in Africa are connected to piped water, and only 40 percent have piped water within 200 meters of their home. In cities of the developing world, one out of every four households lives in poverty. Forty percent of African urban households are living below the locally defined poverty line.

# The Problem With Buildings
Using products made from renewable resources like green construction materials and plantation-grown woods helps mitigate the stress human consumption places on our global ecosystem.

“Green building’ is the next wave, and it’s here to stay.” An excerpt of a speech by Kenneth D. Lewis, CEO and President of Bank of America.

Buildings Use…
40 percent of raw stone, gravel and sand; comparable share of other processed materials such as steel, adding to
landscape destruction, toxic runoff from mines and tailings,
deforestation, air and water pollution from processing

25% of virgin wood is used for construction, adding to
deforestation, flooding, siltation, biological and cultural diversity losses

40% of total energy use, adding to
local air pollution, acid rain, damming of rivers, nuclear waste,
risk of global warming

16 percent of total water withdrawals, adding to Water pollution; competes with agriculture and ecosystems for water

Comparable in industrial countries to municipal solid waste generation, adding to landfill problems, such as leaching of heavy metals and water pollution

Poor air quality in 30 percent of new and renovated buildings, adding to higher incidence of sickness—lost productivity in tens of billions annually

Source: World Watch Institute

With over $175 billion in new commercial construction annually, the environmental burden imposed by the construction and operation of buildings will continue to rise. Therefore, a new model for design that takes into account environmental impact over the life of the building is necessary. Sustainable design evaluates every design decision in order to evaluate potential impact on the environment, occupant health and comfort, and the bottom line.

Fortunately, many of the concepts and technologies that may be employed to reduce environmental impact in construction and operation can be implemented at no extra cost. Life-cycle cost accounting, which looks at long-term cost and return on investment, as well as environmental costs, makes some design options look more attractive once they are evaluated on other than just first cost.



There are many factors which influence the cost of building a house however, in South Africa a saving of at least 30% can easily be achieved by utilizing the
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* Between 20 to 30% lower building costs than conventional building
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Mud and stud is a building technique that can be traced back to Lincolnshire county along the east coast of England. Archaeologists think that British colonists in Jamestown, Virginia used mud and stud to construct the original James Fort in the early 1600s.
Features of Mud and Stud Architecture:

* Frame constructed from upright forked logs with cross beams
* Walls filled with mud and clay
* Roof thatched with leaves or, later, tree bark
* Wooden chimney lined with clay to prevent fire
The other name I can call this is:
Wattle and daub (or wattle-and-daub)
that is a building material used for making walls, in which a woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle is daubed with a sticky material usually made of some combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw. Wattle and daub has been used for at least 6,000 years, and is still an important construction material in many parts of the world. Many historic buildings include wattle and daub construction, and the technique is becoming popular again in more developed areas as a low-impact sustainable building techniqu
This method of construction is used in Africa with great success
in the rural areas. Sticks of a very unique strength are cut
from the village and woven in lattice pattern then dabbed with
clay or mud. This system is to my opinion is better and durable
than sun dried mud.


Building material is any material which is used for a construction purpose. Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay, sand, wood and rocks, even twigs and leaves have been used to construct buildings. Apart from naturally occurring materials, many man-made products are in use, some more and some less synthetic. The manufacture of building materials is an established industry in many countries and the use of these materials is typically segmented into specific specialty trades, such as carpentry, plumbing, roofing and insulation work. This reference deals with habitats and structures including homes.
Mud brick (Mudobe)
The ideal building material
would be ‘borrowed’ from the environment and replaced after use. There would be little or no processing of the raw material and all the energy inputs would be directly, or indirectly, from the sun. This ideal material would also be cheap. Mud bricks can come close to this ideal.

Basic mud bricks are made by mixing earth with water, placing the mixture into moulds and drying the bricks in the open air. Straw or other fibres that are strong in tension are often added to the bricks to help reduce cracking. Mud bricks are joined with a mud mortar and can be used to build walls, vaults and domes.

At its simplest, mud brick making involves placing mud in moulds which, after initial drying, are removed to allow the bricks to dry slowly (not in direct sun). Moulds can be made from timber or metal – anything that can be shaped to provide the desired size for the bricks.

Virtually all the energy input for mud brick construction is human labour (indirectly, fueled by the sun) and after a lifetime of use, the bricks break back down into the earth they came from. The most effective use of mud bricks in building healthy, environmentally responsible housing, comes from understanding their merits and accepting their limitations. Mud brick construction is often referred to as ‘mudobe’ which is an Arabic and Berber word brought by Spaniards to the Americas, where it was adopted into English.

The use of earth construction is well established in energy efficient housing. There are many aspects to earth construction and despite the fact that most of the world’s buildings are made of earth and it is one of the oldest known building materials, there is much about its properties and potential that remains undeveloped and poorly researched.

The appearance of mud bricks reflects the material they are made from. They are thus earthy, with color determined by color of clays and sands in the mix. Finished walls can express the brick patterns very strongly at one extreme or be made into a smoothly continuous surface.
Structural capability

With thick enough walls, mud brick can create load bearing structures up to several stories high. Vaults and domes enable adobe to be used for many situations other than vertical walls. The mud brick may be used as infill in a timber frame building or for load-bearing walls, although its compressive strength is relatively low. Typically, Australian adobe structures are single or double storie. In the Yemen there are buildings 8 stories high and more that have stood for centuries! [See: 5.5 Construction Systems]
[See: 5.6 Construction Systems]
Thermal mass

Adobe walls can provide moderate to high thermal mass, but for most Australian climatic conditions, as a rule of thumb, walls should be a minimum of 300mm thick to provide effective thermal mass. [See: 4.9 Thermal Mass]

Contrary to popular belief mud bricks are not good insulators. Since they are extremely dense they lack the ability to trap air within their structure, the attribute of bulk insulation that allows it to resist the transfer of heat. Insulation can be added to adobe walls with linings but is not intrinsic to the material, and, depending on the building design may not be needed in some climate zones. [See: 4.7 Insulation]
Sound insulation

A well-built adobe wall has very good sound insulation properties. In fact, it can be almost equivalent to a monolithic masonry structure in its capacity for sound attenuation. [See: 2.7 Noise Control]
Fire and vermin resistance

Since earth does not burn, and earth walls do not readily provide habitat for vermin, mud brick walls generally have excellent fire and vermin resistance.
Durability and moisture resistance

Adobe walls are capable of providing structural support for centuries but they need protection from extreme weather (eg. with deep eaves) or continuous maintenance (the ancient structures of the Yemen have been repaired continuously for the centuries they have been standing). As a general rule, adobe needs protection from driving rain (although some adobe soils are very resistant to weathering) and should not be exposed to continuous high moisture.
Breathability and toxicity

Mud bricks make ‘breathable’ walls but some mud brick recipes include bitumen, which potentially results in some outgassing of hydrocarbons. Ideally earth should be used in its natural state or as near it as can be achieved.
Environmental impacts

Mud bricks have the potential to provide the lowest impact of all construction materials. Adobe should not contain any organic matter – the bricks should be made from clays and sands and not include living soil. They require very little generated energy to manufacture, but large amounts of water. The embodied energy content of mud bricks is potentially the lowest of all building materials but additives, excessive transport and other mechanical energy use can increase the ‘delivered’ embodied energy of all earth construction. [See: 5.2 Embodied Energy]

In a similar way, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with unfired mud bricks can (and should) be very low. To keep emissions to an absolute minimum, the consumption of fossil fuel and other combustion processes have to be avoided. [See: 5.1 Material Use Introduction]
Buildability, availability and cost

Mud bricks provide a forgiving construction medium well suited to owner-builder construction. There are a number of proprietary mud brick makers and builders able to provide good information and a strong owner-builder oriented network. There are good networks in the world over including a broad based national organisation,
The materials for making mud bricks are readily available in most areas and may be sourced directly from the site of the building in some cases.

Low costs in construction can only be effectively achieved by self-build, reducing the labour costs associated with manufacture and/ or laying of bricks. Commercially produced mud brick construction can be as expensive, or even more expensive, than brick veneer.

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Shibam Yamen

Mudobe in Peru
Professor Marcial Blondet explains how the adobe structure works

Since 1970, Peru has been hit by five powerful and deadly earthquakes. The latest struck Peru’s coast exactly two years ago with a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter scale.

It fiercely shook the capital Lima, but its devastating epicentre was about 200km (124 miles) to the south, near the town of Pisco, a small fishing port built largely of adobe – mud bricks which Peruvians have used for thousands of years.

More than 500 people were killed and about 75,000 homes were left uninhabitable.

For Peruvian engineer Marcial Blondet, it was the devastating quake in 1970 that first motivated him to develop earthquake-resistant buildings, particularly for those who could least afford them.

Some 70,000 people died in the mountainous region of Huaraz, many of them in an avalanche of snow, ice and rock which obliterated the town of Yungay. It was the deadliest earthquake in Latin American history.

‘Tragic combination’

“Adobe and earthquakes are a perverse and tragic combination,” says Mr Blondet.

“We are right in the middle of the most seismic area in the world. We’ve had many, many huge quakes and we are still waiting for the super big one.

“But a very large percentage of the people here are poor, so adobe is the only thing they can use to build their homes. Unfortunately, that’s the case for millions of people in seismic zones around the world.”

During more than 35 years of research, Mr Blondet and his team have tried a range of natural and industrial materials to try to reinforce weak mud-brick structures. Bamboo cane was one option, but there is not enough of it.

The people on the street are killed by the walls that fall out, the people inside are killed by the roof that falls in
Marcial Blondet

Mud-brick structures are tested vigorously on shaking tables which simulate earthquakes in the structural engineering laboratory at Lima’s Catholic University.

Watching the simulations, it is easy to see just why adobe houses, home to about 40% of Peruvians, are such death-traps.

First a vertical crack appears, then the outer wall falls outwards, before the other walls crumble and the roof caves in.

“The people on the street are killed by the walls that fall out, the people inside are killed by the roof that falls in. It’s terrible,” says Mr Blondet.

“No-one should live in a house that behaves like this. A house is a place where we go when we want to feel protected and safe, so it’s unbearable, completely unacceptable – an abomination – that your house kills you.”

Finally, Mr Blondet and his team found a solution in an industrial plastic mesh used by mining companies to hold back earth on slopes. It is strong, cheap and easy to use.

Securely enveloping a normal mud-brick home in the mesh can prevent the walls from collapsing in an earthquake. The building wobbles but it does not fall down