Residents of Chabai community in Foni Bondali District recently embarked on a massive tree planting exercise in their community to restore their forest cover.
The community has ever been actively participating in reforestation activities and has continued to jealously protect their community’s forest. This tree planting exercise is an affirmation of their commitment to the protection of the forest cover, something they manifest as the best alternative in wiping out the trend of deforestation in the country. A variety of trees were transplanted during the exercise, among them Gmalaina tree and Mahogany, amongst others.
The initiative was strongly supported by the Department of Forestry whose complementary role was recognised and cheered by the community. The Forestry staff from the region’s head office and staff of the area joined the exercise and also gave technical support.
Speaking to the press during the exercise, Kebuteh Sanyang, the Alkalo of Chabai village expressed his people’s willingness to commit to the cause by bringing life to trees rather than making them lifeless. He underscored the essential of trees to mankind saying nobody can doubt the unprecedented values trees can give to humanity in general.
“It is important for all to realise these values and make sure if one tree is cut for a purpose it is replaced by another,” he opined.
Baboucarr Badjie, Senior Forestry Officer at the exercise, challenged the community to protect their community forest by ensuring nothing hampers its progress.
“Deforestation is a worrying phenomenon,” he told them. “We need trees for various purposes, and these include shelter, fire wood, woods for roofing, herbs, to reduce the effects of global warming, among other things,” he said.
He affirmed that within the three Foni districts; namely Jarrol, Bondali and Kansala, Chabai village community has taken the lead in reforestation activity and that as it stands now they have ‘‘a promising community forest that has a bearing for generations to come”.
He reminded them of the serious damage bushfires inflict on forest, thus urging them to jealously guard their forest cover. He thanked the community for their dedication and hard work towards the preservation of forest cover in the country. He assured them that the Department of Forestry will never relent in its efforts in providing all the necessary support for the protection of the flora and fauna.
Bakary Fatty, Forestry administrative circle head, Bondali, commended the community of Chabai for taking up the responsibility to participate in the planting exercise, and putting their own resources to achieve their objective.
Also speaking to the Daily Observer during the exercise, Abdoulie Marreh, Senior Forestry Officer in the area, emphasised the need to keep up the momentum by ensuring other communities emulate Chabai.
By Musa Ndow