remains the most serious threat to the country’s forest cover. The impact of
bush fires can lead to serious deforestation, which could have adverse
consequences on the socio- economic development of the country. However, the
protection of the forest against bush fire and illegal logging calls for
concerted efforts of all stakeholders. This reminds us about the role of
district authorities in protecting the community forests. The alarming rate of
illegal lodging is a cause of concern.
The causes of most bush fires are socially related and there is need for local authorities to do more by conducting regular sensitisations on the dangers associated with bushfires. This would no doubt help in putting in place concrete mechanism to mitigate the effects of bush fires.
Reports indicated that 95% of The Gambia’s human and animal population depends on the forest. And bush fires accounts for a significant percentage on the country’s forest cover, thereby posing serious threat to cattle and small ruminants to find grassing areas.
The rising temperatures and change in weather patterns is also a contributing factor and something that reminds us about climate change. 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.
It is an undisputable fact that the issue of bush fires is becoming a cause for concern in the country, especially in the rural areas. Despite the series of sensitisation campaigns conducted by the Forestry Department and its partners in the communities, it seems more needed to be done.
It is incumbent on all to a play a part in conserving and protecting our country’s remaining fauna and flora species.
“From one small spark a bushfire grows. Sellers of misery are our foes. Merging ruthlessly tongues of flame. Point your finger at those to blame.” Paul Anthony