It saddens one’s heart to see truckloads of timber and charcoal going out of Burra Forest in Ningi Local Government Area of Bauchi State almost every minute. These illegal businesses are increasing every day. The residents of the area are crying out loud as a result of indiscriminate felling of trees in Burra axis.
For quite some time, there were several complaints about deforestation in Ningi, especially when almost all the bushes around are being disturbed by people felling trees.
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Lame–Burra Game Reserve, where the act is being perpetrated, is one of the reserves in Nigeria and has an elevation of 640 metres. It covers 2,351.92 km2. The forest borders two states of Kano and Plateau.
Since 2019 when the present administration of Governor Bala came to power, deforestation has been one of his concerns. He had once taken serious action against those involved.
The government arrested and seized trucks loaded with charcoal that were heading to Kano from the Burra community.
The government suspended a caretaker chairman in Ningi because of this, among other charges. But it seems the government is not aware that this ugly act is still ongoing across Ningi.
This deforestation is putting the residents of Burra and Ningi in fear especially during the rainy season. Everyone knows that trees release much-needed oxygen and cutting them down indiscriminately is equal to denying ourselves the precious life gift.
Lack of tree cover will also result in trapping of greenhouse gases which will adversely affect the ozone layer and could cause diseases like leukemia and cancer.
About 40 per cent of trees in the area are destroyed by the charcoal dealers. As it stands, the local government authority is doing nothing about it. The loss of trees and other vegetation can cause climate change, desertification, soil erosion, fewer crops, and flooding.
We are calling on the state government to please address this matter urgently and save our environment from erosion and other effects of climate change.
Usman Abdullahi Koli, Department of Mass Communication, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi.