Gambia: 'Illegal Charcoal Production in Foni Is Unacceptable'

The West Coast Region forestry officer has raised eyebrows on the escalating level of illegal charcoal production in Foni, saying the practice is "unacceptable."

Ousainou Cham, who was speaking recently during a meeting with district authorities in Sibanor, stressed that the level of charcoal production especially in Foni Bintang is unacceptable and that Section 108 of the 1998 Forest Act prohibits charcoal production in the country. He urged district authorities within Foni and the general public to contribute their quota towards arresting the situation.

The regional forestry officer warned that legal action will be taken against anyone found wanting, while stressing further that the export trade of the Keno tree and timber logs is about to end. He said efforts should be put in place to ensure that no Keno is imported across the boarder of West Coast Region come 31 July 2012.

The chief of Foni Bintang Karanai, Alfusainey Jarju, expressed dismay over the practice, stressing the need for a collective effort and immediate action against forest intruders in the best interest of the nation.

The governor of West Coast Region, Lamin Sanneh, for his part, called on district authorities to strengthen the Forest Act in order to secure the future of the forest for the upcoming generation.

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