EN­VI­RON­MENT Log­ging per­sists in Kogi

Daily Trust - - ENVIRONMENT - From Us­man A. Bello, Lokoja

Il­le­gal log­ging still thrive in many parts of Kogi State, de­spite the ex­is­tence of a law pro­hibit­ing the act in the state.

Daily Trust find­ings re­vealed that tim­ber deal­ers have con­tin­ued to carry out the il­le­gal log­ging of trees to the detri­ment of the en­vi­ron­ment and caus­ing de­for­esta­tion.

Ac­cord­ing an ex­pert, de­for­esta­tion is a process where trees are cut down for eco­nomic rea­son with­out any ef­fort to re­place them, thereby mak­ing the for­est to be empty.

De­for­esta­tion has neg­a­tive con­se­quence on the en­vi­ron­ment, caus­ing soil ero­sion, loss of bio­di­ver­sity ecosys­tem, de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion and ab­sence of trees used for drug man­u­fac­tur­ing, among oth­ers.

But those who en­gage in the ac­tiv­ity of log­ging trees are only in­ter­ested in the mon­e­tary profit and care less of the con­se­quences of their ac­tions even in the face of global warm­ing and en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lem em­a­nat­ing from their ac­tions.

In ar­eas such as Anyigba, Ankpa, Lokoja, Okene, Ajaokuta, Dek­ina, Kabba and Mopa, among oth­ers, log­ging is ram­part, mainly for the rea­son of mak­ing fire wood.

Many ve­hi­cles were seen on a daily bases mov­ing round Lokoja me­trop­o­lis and other parts of the state dis­patch­ing fire wood to people for var­i­ous eco­nomic uses.

It is gath­ered that among those that pa­tro­n­ise fire wood mar­keters in the state are bread bak­ers who use it in fir­ing their ovens and restau­rant oper­a­tors.

In many towns and vil­lages, the de­mand for fire­wood is said to be on the in­crease as most of the people who could not af­ford cook­ing gas and kerosene largely de­pend on it for their daily cook­ing. Some other people also fell down trees and burn them in or­der to get char­coal for commercial pur­poses.

Be­sides, ex­perts fur­ther stated that be­cause of the at­ten­dant con­se­quences of de­for­esta­tion on the en­vi­ron­ment and the ecosys­tem, govern­ment and rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties in the state need to ap­ply the rel­e­vant laws so as to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment.

Mean­while, the Na­tional Vice Pres­i­dent (North-Cen­tral) En­vi­ron­men­tal Health Of­fi­cer As­so­ci­a­tion of Nigeria, Solomon Anyegwu, said de­for­esta­tion has se­ri­ous neg­a­tive im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment, adding that it should be dis­cour­age by the govern­ment.

He said: “Trees are also raw ma­te­ri­als that are used by phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­tries by us­ing the leaves, back of tree and root to pro­duce drugs. To­day, they are in­dis­crim­i­nately be­ing felled and this is af­fect­ing our health be­cause drugs that should have been man­u­fac­tured from the pro­vi­sional func­tion of trees are not there. So it goes a long way to af­fect phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­tries.”

Anyegwu called on govern­ment, at all lev­els, to dis­cour­age in­ces­sant felling of tress by ap­ply­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate laws.

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