High population eats up Nigeria’s forests
Nigeria’s population is growing at a scary rate and experts say it is having a significant effect on the environment. Ugandan journalist Shifa Mwesigye, in this special report for The Nation, examines this challenge and suggests the way out.
At 11 am, Elizabeth heads out into the hills where she meets her friends from the neighbourhood. They descend onto the forest in their village of Burak in Shongom, Gombe State to cut down trees and collect firewood for preparing meals for their families. Here they meet tens of other women and children collecting firewood.
When Elizabeth’s mother was her age 20 years ago, the forest was sprouting down the hills and neighbouring their farm. They didn’t have to move long distances to collect firewood. Today, Elizabeth has to walk at least 4 kilometres to collect the firewood because the forest has been destroyed so much and the bare land turned into agricultural and settlement zones.
The demand for fuelwood in Shongom has grown because according to the state’s website, the population in Gombe State increased from 158,339 in 1990 to 2.8 million people by 2015, increasing demand for cooking energy. Secondly, businessmen cut down trees and transport them to the cities where it is used as fuelwood, timber for making furniture and building houses for the ever-increasing population that requires housing.
Read more at:https://thenationonlineng.net/high-population-eats-up-nigerias-forests/