Dec 11, 2009, 10:43 AM
Mr. Abdoulie Sanneh, the Western Region Population Task Force Committee member has raised concern over rapid population growth in the country.
Mr. Sanneh, who was speaking to our reporter in an interview yesterday, said the country's population was about half a million, some thirty years ago and with few schools and hospitals. But he noted that with an increased in population growth to 1.5 million, dependency on the country's natural resources would be correspondingly increased.
He noted that population and development goes side by and in some areas, development is determined or measured by population density, meaning the higher the population the more social amenities are needed to cater for the demand of the population.
Mr. Sanneh, who also doubles as the Regional Forestry Officer for Western Region reiterated that population depends heavily on the natural resources. He also raised concern that the forest cover is rapidly disappearing, thus leading to deforestation. This, he said, can lead to lesser rainfall, which can result in famine and possible outbreak of diseases.
Noting that certain developments cannot take place without inflicting some negative impacts on the environment, such as road construction, bride construction, he said, the impact is always minimal. As he put it, an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is always conducted to determine the level of impact before the commencement of any construction.
He further elucidated that a temporal banning of the use of chain saws has been issued by the authority, adding that Chiefs, Alkalolu, Regional Governors are aware of it.
He therefore stressed the need for communities to be sensitised on the issue to help protect and conserve the remaining forest cover.
"I will not compromise with anybody found guilty of such illegal activities or aiding somebody should face the law," he stated.
Mr. Sanneh posited that the social well-being of any population is directly linked to the availability of that country's natural resources, and thus calls for more tree-planting exercise.
On the issue of rural-urban drift, Mr. Sanneh said most of the projects and other activities are decentralised. He added that there are now equal opportunities for youths in the provinces to engage in order to eke out a living.
He called on individuals, Kafoos, NGOs to engage in more tree-planting exercise.