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The dangers of depleting the rain forest!

The dangers of depleting the rain forest!

The issues of climate change and global warming are two sides of the same coin, worryingly troubling mother earth and the human kind.

Indeed, Africa is a victim of the threat posed by these adverse conditions of the atmosphere emanating from the discharge of greenhouse gasses and the rapid wearing out of the ozone layer caused by manufacturing industries of western countries.

But while the world is grappling with this life-threatening phenomenon, Sierra Leoneans are obliviously busy contributing to their self-destruction in their own way, by continuously depleting the rain forest thereby exposing the environment and habitation to natural and unavoidable catastrophe. Memories of the flooding that wiped scores of people in August 2014 at Regent Village in the Rural District of the Western Area, are being refreshed as the rains set in.

Already, the Meteorological Department or Agency has put out equally worrying messages of less rains and more wind this season; meaning that we are in a double-edged situation between the devil and the deep blue sea, all be it the result of climate change and global warming. Without the forest cover both rain and wind can become enemies of man, though we need these two resources for our survival.

The uncontrolled spree and magnitude of logging up country fueled by the desperation for money to cushion the excruciating economic hardship in the country; and the zest for increased Government Revenues, is rapidly depleting our rain forests, exposing the people, structures and the soil to the ferocity of heavy rains and winds, in addition to threatening our wild life.

In the capital, Freetown, the activity is a bit different, but the effects are the same. Desperate for shelter and to eke out a living, there is widespread felling down of the forest in the surrounding hills to build structures and burn charcoal or fetch fire wood; again leaving communities at the mercy of the wind and the rain.

I am more than concerned about the scale of depletion and its adversity to the environment. The Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments should stop the apparent lip service in doing their work to protect the environment, for God’s sake. I am sick and tired with the use of rhetoric by public officials, hiding behind the cloak of amassing wealth at the peril of the public.

Most disturbing and provocative is the sight of so-called Forest Guards, parading in town carrying with them the fakery of military personnel, instead of sticking themselves in the forests which they are meant to protect. Some of them are now being hired to serve as guards in wedding ceremonies and parties. What a deceptive shame! 

By Abdul Kuyateh

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