Coast Region Forestry Office last Friday commemorated Anti-bushfire day at
Bwiam Dobong in the region’s Foni Kansala district.
The event was attended by local authorities, stakeholders and partners in the natural resources sub-sector, Kanilia fire and rescue service officials station and the police.
Kansala district Chief Biran Camara said bush fires are a cause for concern in the country. He said he has how initiated stringent measures by prosecuting anyone found guilty of illegal logging and indiscriminate bushfires and charcoal production.
Chief Camara promised to fund similar sensitisations of Village Development Committees (VDC) and alkalolu to prevent the destruction of the forest cover from bushfire.
The region’s forestry officer Ousainou Cham said the activity is part of his department’s policy objectives to improve and sustain Gambia’s forest cover and to reserve the current environmental and ecological situation.
According to him, causes of forest fires are socially related, saying the event will contribute in raising peoples’ awareness on the negative effects of bushfires. He said it will also enhance livestock, agricultural production.
The regional forestry technical unit head Kebba Jammeh said, “Bushfire remains the most serious threat to Gambia’s forest cover, contribution to high rate of environmental degradation and biodiversity losses.”
He said 95% of Gambia’s human and animal population depend on it the forest, saying over 151, 000 of the country’s forest cover was onetime burnt nationwide, posing serious threat to cattle and small ruminants to find grassing areas.
Governor of the region Bakary Sanyang emphasised the need for local authorities to conduct regular sensitisations on the dangers of bushfires to mitigate the effects of climate change. He said that will help to improve livelihood of the region’s local population.
The regional environment inspector Luntang Conateh recommended that the sensitisation should be intensified to other parts of the country. “Bushfires causes serious negative impact on climate, agriculture and on livestock. Special fund should be allocated for bushfires campaign.”