Alarming rate of bushfire

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The recent spell of warm weather in the country is a reminder that the bushfire season is far from over. The Sunday dramatic blaze, which tore through parts of the outside bushes of the Banjul International Airport, is testimony to this fact. Looking at the topography of the airport, surrounded by thick bushes, the management and surrounding communities should make it a point of duty to do control burning immediately after raining and dry seasons. 

At this time of the year, The Gambia experiences relatively warm and hot weather, making lives unbearable for some, even though tourists in the country enjoy basking under such blazing weather.

We must acknowledge the fact that rising temperatures and change in weather patterns is alarming and something that reminds us about climate change. Climate change is adversely affecting ecosystems and livelihoods on planet Earth. Scientists predict that unless human beings significantly reduce carbon emissions, sea levels will rise, and weather patterns will shift violently. In communities where so many people live either in the bush or on its fringes, such peaks of risk are a fact of life and anticipating the potential hazards of fire and mitigating their effects should be part of every household’s preparations.

Human activities around the airport are largely to blame for these blazes, even though the management of the airport has tried without success to engage relevant authorities on the issue.

Again, human-caused pollution has left our planet on the verge of a tipping point at which ecosystems will die and release massive amounts of CO2. If that happens, the changes to the climate could be irreversible, countless species will become extinct, and our economic and cultural ways of life will be forever altered.

Therefore, it is incumbent on all to play a part to mitigate and curb the effects of climate change crisis. By taking actions now, we can reduce emissions significantly, and prevent the looming climate catastrophe before it is too late.

“Every tree in the forest has a story to tell. Some of them were burnt but they endured the fire and got revived; some of them were cut, their barks injured, some people pick up their leaves to make medicines for their sicknesses, birds used their leaves to make their nests, etc. Upon all these, the tree is still tree!”

Israelmore Ayivor