Gambia — The Department of Forestry in collaboration with the West Coast Region Anti-Bush Fire Committee last Friday embarked on anti-bushfire campaign in Chewel and Kammanka villages in the Foni Jarrol District. The Committee includes the St. Joseph’s Family Farms, the Kanilai Farms Ltd, the Gambia Police Force, Fire & Rescue Service, Brikama Area Council, District Chiefs and the West Coast Region Governor’s Office. The aim of the campaign is to sensitise the local people living in the area on how to prevent bushfires as well as enlighten them on the damages it can cause to the environment.
Speaking at the exercise, Mari Gibba, the alkalo of Chewel Village and Landing Bajinka, alkalo of Kammanka Village, both welcomed the guests and thanked them for the initiative. For his part, Kutubo Sanyang, the district chief of Foni Jarrol, urged the people to take great care in preventing their environment from bushfires. He explained that bushfires do not only cause damage to the environment but also destroy the habitat of the animals living in the forests.
Bakary Badjie, the chief of Foni Bondali who doubles as the chairman of the Anti-Bushfire Committee of West Coast Region, urged the communities in his region to take care of the forest. He said the environment is entrusted to the people and will bring more development to the area if protected.
Abdoulie Alpha Sanneh, the director of Forestry, deliberated on the importance of the forest, recalling that sensitisation about campaigns on the forest started since 2005. He assured that his department would do its best to eradicate the menace of bushfires in the country, adding that they would also strengthen the campaign.
Ousainou Cham, the regional forestry officer of WCR, thanked the two villages for their large turnout, noting that people are now aware of the effects of bushfires. Other speakers included Saibou Touray, officer at Kalagi Police Station; Malick Sarr, Kanilai Fire & Rescue officer; and Baboucarr Badjie, a forestry officer, who all expressed similar sentiments.