Lamin Barrow, the chairman of the Association of Wood Re-exporters and Forest users in The Gambia has decried the rampant malpractice surrounding the exportation of containers of wood to China, claiming that despite government currently imposing a ban on the exportation of wood, some 'unscrupulous' individuals are still exporting containers to China.
Barrow was speaking over the weekend at Sinchu Alhagie during a presentation of 110 50kg bags of rice and 110 five litres of oil to its members.
Gambians, Barrow added, need to respect the government ban on the exportation of wood outside the country. "However, due to the selfish interest of certain individuals, exportation of wood outside the country is still on-going. This needs to be stopped because the country is losing huge revenue," he said, adding that his members have no hand in the on-going exportation of wood to China.
The Ministry of Environment, he claimed, should be in position to know those "unscrupulous" individuals who are bent on exporting containers of wood despite the ban. "I believe the ministry is aware of those people but they are just muted about it without doing anything and the country is losing a lot of revenues. I want to reiterate that our members are not part of the issue because they're law abiding and they respect the Forest Act."
In this year Koriteh, he said, the association will only slaughter two bulls and that the meat will be sold to only its members. This move, he stated, is geared towards complementing the efforts of its members who are not working at the moment due to the ban imposed by the government, claiming that they have been working tirelessly in bringing understanding between the producers and the exporters.
"I can emphatically make it clear that members of our association are not involved in exporting timbers outside the country. In fact, since our formation, our members are not involved in any malpractice in the country," Bakary Jammeh, the association's vice president said.
Ebrima Lowe, a member of the Association said the donated items will go a long way towards complementing their efforts, adding that the items are commodities that they need much.