Feb 15, 2013, 10:01 AM
The need for people to desist from the habit of illegal cutting of trees should stop now rather than later.
It has been reported in our last Friday's edition that the Western Region Forestry Team recently apprehended some people, numbering ten accused of illegal cutting of trees in the area. This practice must cease to exist as it badly destroys our forest cover, thus impacting negatively on the environment.
Most people also cut trees illegally for the purpose of burning charcoal. Both illegal cutting of trees and charcoal burning are prohibited in the Forestry Act. Not withstanding these and many others are responsible for the disappearance of our precious resources.
It's our collective responsibility as Gambians and non-Gambians residing in the country to voice against this illegal practice.
It's imperative to note that here in The Gambia very few people do plant trees for a replacement to the one they have cut.
According to the Western Region Forestry Officer, Abdoulie Sanneh this year alone they have apprehended as many as forty two people over illegal cutting of trees and charcoal burning. He stressed that his office will not compromise with anyone found wanting.
We applaud Mr.Sanneh and his team for executing their duties effectively in uncovering those responsible for this menace.
To the offenders, we say try something else as an alternative source of income, such as farming or to venture into something productive.
It's very sad when organisations such as Youth Group in Action, which is of course empowered by Gamcel are seen planting trees, as well as Standard Chartered Bank "Go green initiative" transforming nature, others are hell bent on destroying it.
We must commend these institutions and all other departments and institutions who are in one way or the other supporting tree-planing initiatives, thus discouraging deforestation.
We also encourage all Gambians to consider planting a tree, especially during this rainy season when one would not need to water them.
In the same vein, local authorities should as well sensitise communities on the dangers associated with illegal cutting of trees, and punish those found culpable of the Forestry Act.