Jan 6, 2011, 12:50 PM
The recent remarks made by Sheriff Ajay Janneh, Head Chief of Kombo South, manifesting his uncompromising willingness to punish the perpetrators of bush fires in his district are encouraging.
"It is nothing but wickedness to deliberately set fire to bushes without any thought of the consequences to wild life and the environment."
"I think the best thing will be to set an example on the perpetrators when caught," Chief Janneh said to our reporter in an interview.
These comments of the Kombo South Chief came on the heels of many bush fires in the district in recent times.
Considering the devastating effects of such fires one would tend to agree with the local chief on the need to say no to bush fires.
We have said many times in this and other columns that there is a need for people to protect our bush from uncontrolled burning. The same thing is now being said by the chief, who has even gone further to express his resolve to set an example.
We must commend the chief for his stance, and thus call on others to emulate him as this would also help a great deal in addressing the problem of the bush fire menace.
Our animals need the grass and plants to survive and we, in turn, need them for meat, milk, and labour among others. Therefore, we should not allow a few people to deprive us and our animals from all these gifts of nature just because of their selflessness.
We see the starting of illegal bush fires as wickedness and selfishness on the part of the perpetrators.
The need for people to change their attitude towards the environment is crucial, and we call on all and sundry to adopt a positive attitude, most especially our rural and peri-urban settlers.
A good number of our animal species have disappeared as a result of bush fires, and something should be done about this.
If not we will continue to lose more and more animal and plant species.
The importance of trees to mankind is well-known and, therefore, we should all desist from burning the bush.
People at the grassroots should listen to their local authorities, especially when it comes to issues like preventing bush fires.
Once again, we urge villagers to make bush fire belts around their villages to stop fires reaching their houses and food stores in case of a bush fire.