National Livestock Owners Association (NaLOA) recently embarked on bush fire
sensitisation campaign across the Central River Region (CRR). The aim of the
campaign was to help reduce the reoccurrence of wild fires which is seriously
affecting ruminants during the dry season.
Addressing farmers in CRR, the president of NaLOA, Ebrima O. Jallow, said the land territory of The Gambia was covered by dense and almost impenetrable thick forest. “At that time, the forests were rich in both flora and fauna and also constituted the natural habitat for a variety of large mammals which are now almost extinct,” he added.
He asserted that with increasing population, the equilibrium between human needs and natural systems became disturbed, thus starting a viscous cycle of forest destruction caused by rampant bush fires, over exploitation of forest resources and unsustainable agricultural practices. He said the situation presents a daunting challenge because of its impact on our livestock, and without supplementary feeds for them. He implored on the people in the area to protect the forest against bushfires for the benefit of our future generation.
The chief of Nianija, Sheikh Dawda York, spoke extensively on the occurrence of bushfires across the region. He stated that the farming communities who are almost exclusively dependent on agriculture and forest based products. “As lands degrades productivity collapses, plants die, biodiversity is lost, global climate may change and water ways clog up with eroded soils contributing to sedimentation of coastal zones,” he concluded. He finally called on all to plant trees, nurture and protect them against destruction.
The regional president of Livestock Owners Association in the CRR north, Totala Bah, highlighted on the importance of protecting the forest against bushfires, noting that this will help in feeding our ruminants. He said during the dry season, cattle farmers find it very difficult in feeding their livestock due to wild fires which burn the forests. He called for concerted efforts in the protection of the forests against fire and other illegal activities.