Monday, July 22, 2024

Gambian Environment Minister Declares War Against Chainsaws

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By: Dawda Baldeh

The Minister of Environment, Climate Change, and Natural Resources, Rohey John Manjang, has declared war against the use of chainsaws in the country as a means to address deforestation.

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She made this declaration in the Upper River Region during her tour of various communities inspecting forest parks.

She called for a shift in attitude to preserve the environment and mitigate the devastating effects of climate change.

“After this tour, we are going to campaign against the chainsaws,” she said.

She continued, “We will engage our stakeholders and make a press release that there is zero tolerance for chainsaws. Nobody is going to use chainsaws in The Gambia anymore.”

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The country’s Chief Environmental Protection Officer reminded people that there are laws prohibiting anyone from illegally cutting trees.

“People know that there are laws against the illegal cutting of trees, but they want to maintain a lackadaisical attitude. We will not tolerate this behavior anymore,” she added.

She stressed that climate change is now affecting everyone and encouraged people to engage in tree planting.

“If we see anyone using a chainsaw, they will face the full force of the law. We will now take the bull by the horns,” she vowed.

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Minister John Manjang further called on people to be law-abiding, especially those in authority.

“Felling trees for business is now the new drug in the environment,” she told reporters.

The Minister called for collective efforts to protect natural covers to mitigate climate change.

She added that the visit is a significant milestone in getting firsthand experience of the activities taking place in the environment.

Furthermore, she mentioned that they will continue sensitizing people on the importance of protecting the environment and the consequences of cutting down trees.

“We are all feeling the scorching heat now, but this was not happening in the past. Now that we have fewer trees, we are facing high temperatures and low rainfall, which are also leading to less harvest. Before, the rains came early, but now that is history,” she argued.

She described trees as crucial resources for people’s lives.

She further threatened tougher laws and full enforcement to ensure offenders are prosecuted.

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