Gambia — Saikou Kaddy Sonko, the regional Forestry officer for North Bank Region (NBR) has called on the youths to fully participate in the sensitisation of the dangers of bush fire in the country.
He made this remark recently during the 6th anniversary celebration of Side by Side Organisation in Farafenni, NBR. He called on other organisations to partner with them in complementing government’s efforts in the anti-bush fire campaign. He said the region continues to witness massive destruction of forest and vegetation covers and this, he noted contributes to loss of soil fertility and to the disappearance of natural habitats.
Sonko assured the youths of his office’s commitment in the enforcement of the Forest Act and Policy and called on village heads to be vigilant and ensure maximum protection of the forest and sustainable livelihood. He noted that annually the Forestry Department and other partners plant trees and support individuals and communities with seedlings, with the objective of protecting and enriching the soil for effective farming.
He explained that during the dry season, most of the trees die as a result of bush fire and inadequate care. Sonko tasked the district authorities to map out spot areas and strategies on effective intervention for protecting those spot areas in each community. “The protection of the forest calls for concerted efforts of all and sundry; [hence it requires] timely reporting of culprits to the relevant authorities for action. The Forest Act can only be implemented if people are willing to come out openly and report on time,” he concluded.