By Madiba Singhateh

Another area of the Bamboo forest measuring 150m × 80m, has been bulldozed yet again by the same land dealer called Modou Jammeh.

This is another extension to the previous area earlier bulldozed by the same land dealer.

When contacted to shed light on this new destruction of an area of the bamboo forest by Modou Jammeh, Mr. Kebba Jammeh, the Principal Forestry Officer and head of the Technical Unit of the Department of Forestry, said Modou was found with a hired bulldozer eagerly razing to the ground every plant that stood in his way including the dense young bamboo plants which were planted last year; that this particular issue has once again been reported to the Farato Police where statements were heard between the Technical Unit and the Plantation Section Head of the Forestry Department on one side, and Modou Jammeh the claimant, on the other.

According to the Principal Forestry Officer, Modou said he bought the land from the Jamburr Kabilo of Bojang Kunda and that this was endorsed by the Lands and Physical Planning Departments, with sketches of the land shown as evidence; that Modou said the sketches were drawn by one Mr. Chorr of the Physical Planning Department.

According to the Principal Forestry Officer, the Police Officers who handled the case have visited the site.

Mr. Jammeh said the Station Officer of Farato Police Station advised them to lodge their complaints regarding the illegally bulldozed Bamboo plants, with the Lands Commission at the Governor’s Office; that as Officers of the Forestry Department, they were able to speak to one member of the Commission at the Governor’s Office to brief him about the continued destruction of the only Bamboo forest. He said the matter was also conveyed to the Director of Forestry and the Permanent Secretary of the MECCNAR project at the Ministry, regarding the unexpected destruction once again, of the only bamboo forest reserved land of the State; that they now await the convergence of the Lands Commission of the Governor’s office for further hearing.

The Principal Forestry Officer and head of the Technical Unit said all former Directors of Forestry who are more conversant with the country’s forest lands and have contributed to the management of the bamboo forest area, know what he is talking about and should add their voice to stop this illegal destruction of the country’s unique heritage; that it is time for all former forest officers and Directors to descend into this crucial situation to deter Modou Jammeh from gaining State property for his interest.

He said CBOs and local authorities have potential roles to play in obstructing Modou Jammeh from any transaction of documents on this particular forest land owned by the State, in claiming ownership; that the Bamboo forest plantation is located within the Department’s Farato Administrative Zone and the Alkalo of Farato, has categorically refused Modou’s request by telling him that the area is a State forest reserved land.

For the information of the readers, this particular forest land was established since 1954, as a state reserved land.