Namibia — The Niamina West District tribunal in the Central River Region South recently convicted one Yerro Jallow of Niani Kunda village to a fine of D2, 500 after he was found guilty by the tribunal on a charge of causing bush fire.
Chief Ngai Dampha also ruled that should Jallow fail in paying the fine, he would serve six months in prison.
Delivering the judgment at his Pinai Mandinka village tribunal, Dampha called on the people to be protectors of the forest at all times. He warned that whoever sets fire or illegally enters the forest without permission would face the full force of the law.
He underscored the importance of forest life, saying without trees there would be no life. He said the country is facing forest degradation due to illegal felling of trees and bushfires among others.
The regional forestry officer for CRR South, Alhagie Sanyang said: The causes of forest fires are generally related. In its efforts to address the problem, the Government of The Gambia through the Forestry Ministry has instituted legal frameworks and policy strategies for the management of forest fires.
He said the impacts of forest fires are evidently seen not only on the forest cover and its ecosystems, but also on the environment and on the economic livelihood of the rural population.