Beware of bush fires!

Mar 12, 2021, 10:33 AM

Bushfire continues to be a growing concern for many communities in The Gambia. The surge in the reported number of bushfires clearly reminds us that climate change is having a devastating toll on the planet.

For instance, The Gambia annually lost a significant acre of land planted with valuable trees, some of which generated a huge some of income for their respective owners.

However, what is certain is that the changing weather patterns has led to both severe flooding and desertification in many countries across Africa, affecting crop yields and food security.

It is in the news that wild fire recently consumed dozens of cashew farms in Kiang Keneba in Lower River Region. The news is not only worrying but devastating on the families, who lost belongings during the inferno.

The soaring record temperatures and months of severe drought are the main reasons that fuelled some of this massive bushfires in the continent. And fears are growing as some of this rising temperatures and strong winds could make the wildfire uncontrollable.

Despite a series of sensitisation campaigns being conducted by the Forestry Department and its partners in the communities, it seems more needs to be done to tackle the menace.

Communities need to do more to curb bush fires by creating fire belt around their farms to stop fire encroaching on their farmlands.

There is also the need for attitudinal change. Some bushfire are caused by nature, when lightning strikes and ignites dry plants and trees, like the golden wattle tree. But there are some that are started by people, out of negligence or sheer greed.

We can do a lot to create fire belts through the form of ‘tesitoo’, which is now hard to find in many communities in rural Gambia. This ‘tesitoo’ have proven to be an effective tool in fostering unity and harmony in our communities.

We, therefore, urge the authorities to intensify their advocacy in creating awareness among our people, particularly, those in the rural areas where the menace of bush fires is common.

Let join hands to protect and safeguard ‘our existing flora and fauna’ for the good of our future children.

"Despite a series of sensitisation campaigns being conducted by the Forestry Department and its partners in the communities, it seems more needs to be done to tackle the menance."

Concern Citizen

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