By Madiba Singhateh
Anti-forest fire campaigners on Friday 18th Decembers meet at the NACOFAG office in Brikama, together with Principal Forestry Officer and Plantation Section head of the Nyambai Forest Kebba Jammeh, and some committee members of the said association, to discuss the illegal bulldozing of the bamboo forest by one Modou Jammeh.
The meeting which was held in the wake of the recent bulldozing of 150 x 80 m of the Bambo forest, was the second time the plantation has suffered such an illegal act from Modou Jammeh, who initially demarcated parts of the said heritage forest which belongs to the State, for his own selfish interest. However, every time he tries, his illegal acts end up in controversy and failure because this land belongs to the Government of the Gambia as a unique heritage property of the State, which he denies.
Saikou Janko, President of the All-farmers Platform said such issues cannot be tolerated; that it is high time for the association in close collaboration with the Department of Forestry, to stop the public from encroaching into community forest and national park areas.
Janko said this is the same person who had encroached the same plantation and failed and wants to hold on to it for the second time again, just for his own selfish interest, and asserted that his action cannot be acceptable.
On his part Kebba Jammeh, Principal Forestry Officer and Plantation Section head of Nyambai Forest said what Modou’s claim of ownership of the Bamboo forest and what is in the document he presented to them are quite different. He said the land documents presented by Modou Jammeh indicate that the said land which is adjacent to Nyambai Forest is in Jambur.
However, Mr. Jammeh said the Bambo Forest has never been in Nyambai but at Bamba Forest park, whose location since time immemorial, is in Farato.
‘‘You can see that the whole issue he raises is in contradiction to himself,’’ he said.
Principal Forestry Officer Jammeh said what they cannot still understand is why the same person keeps on clearing the plantation without any restraint against him.
If readers can recall, the same incident happened last year, when the same Modou Jammeh claimed that he bought the said forest land from the Bojang Kunda kabilo of Jamburr and that this he said, was endorsed by the Lands and Physical Planning Departments.
However, the issue is yet to be addressed and Government needs to act before it is too late.