Jul 24, 2009, 4:29 AM
The recent marking of National Anti-Bush Fire Day in the Central River Region is a clear manifestation of the commitment of Forestry Department officials in their quest to control bush fires across the country, as part of their drive to promote decentralization.
The sensitisation mechanisms put in place by the Forestry Ministry should be a continuing campaign as this will greatly help in reducing bush fires, which have severe consequences for local people.
Bush fires could lead to serious environmental problems, and thus the need to address the menace in all fora, alongside initiatives like Anti-Bush Fire Day recently held in CRR.
The local authorities in all parts of the country must work with Forestry officials in tackling bush fires.
Creating anti-bush fire committees to prevent fires, both at the village and regional levels, would also help in reducing the incidence of bush fires.
In our view, the protection of the forest and its inhabitants should be the primary responsibility of every citizen.
Sound environmental policies and a regulatory framework are also essential in protecting our forest cover.
However, attitudes of people must also change, if we are to succeed in the fight against bush fires.
It is high time that people avoid the unnecessary burning of the bush without a just cause.
It is also about time that the government takes action, before it is too late, against people who burn the bush out of carelessness.
In The Gambia, the Department of Forestry has been doing a lot of good work, in the area of mounting antibush fire campaigns, and we call on regional governors and district chiefs to complement the government's efforts in this area.
Let us save the forest, so that generations, yet unborn, will benefit from it too.