Going Green In West Africa’s Forests

There are yet many challenges to the preservation of West Africa’s lush green forests. The ever-increasing exploitation of our natural resources especially in the area of indiscriminate lumbering and uncontrolled felling of endangered tree species has become an eyesore as we watch foreign companies and their accomplices – the governments of the West African states – decimating this gift of nature. One can almost hear the ancient trees on a quiet afternoon as you walk down some discreet footpath in a forest a million years old screaming silently against man’s inhumanity to himself. Where there used to be a canopy of giant mahogany, Cedar or Iroko trees there is now shrubs, bushes, saplings or worthless tree stumps.

Moreover, the governments of the West African states are either too powerless or are simply nonchalant about this. Timber is consistently and indiscriminately logged and everyone turns a blind eye. Their laws are practically ineffective and neo-colonialism is the order of the day. The bad news is that we will soon have to say goodbye to our beautiful equatorial rain forest with all of its stupendous wealth of flora and fauna.

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However, there is still much to salvage and see in some untouched or hidden recesses of African jungle whose beauty only a few has ever had the privilege to behold. So well tucked away and preserved are these places that one can only imagine what it will be like to see them for oneself as those who have been there relate what they saw. Some of these places have natural barriers which help to effectively ward off greedy exploiters such as loggers and poachers. Here you can behold chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and the famous mandrill in the wild; here also there are exotic trees and flowering plants too bountiful to describe. Then there is the music of the birds which flutter about in a rainbow of colors not to mention the myriad of swamps and waterholes dotting the landscape. Of course you can see most of these in the National Parks at Akampa, Boki or Obudu but these are places that have been influenced by man in some way.

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If you are thinking what I’m thinking and would love to come see for yourself or simply sympathize with nature and wish to help her in any way visit us anytime. Ozebue!

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by Egwoli Samuel