The chief of Niani District, Alhaji Pierre Bah, has called on his people to be mindful of fire outbreaks. He made this remark recently during series of meetings held within his district.
He said the dry season is fast approaching and the grasses are about to dry and if fire occurs it can cause serious disaster. Chief Bah seized the opportunity and urged his people to clean up their environment and make fire belts around their villages so that if fire occurs in the bush, there won’t be disaster in the villages.
He also challenged them to protect the forest against destruction. He said whoever, sets fire or illegally entered the forest without permission and cut down or set fire, will face the full force of the law.
Chief Bah highlighted the significance of the forest to our daily lives, saying that without trees there is no life. “We are still witnessing reductions in the total area of forest cover and even of great significance a rapid rate of forest degradation which is attributable to certain factors, key among them is illegal cutting down of trees and bushfires,” he affirmed.
The regional forestry officer (RFO) for CRR north, Pa Demba Sigi Jeng, also called on the people of the region to protect the forests against bushfires in order to avoid destruction. “The causes of forest fires are socially related and in its efforts to address the problem, the government of The Gambia through its technical department responsible for forestry has instituted legal frameworks and policy strategies for the management of forest fires,” he stated.
He said the impacts of forest fires are evidently seen not only on the forest cover and its ecosystems, but also on the environment as a whole and on the economic livelihood of the rural populace.
by Lamin SM Jawo in CRR