We want to reiterate government decisions on this timber ban it has to be enforced and enforced to the maximum, we will engage the border communities, and we visited the timber landing sites. The delegation intends to find out how active they are within border villages. Timber smugglers involved in illegal activity will be punished. We want to confirm if some of them are still active in the business, at some level we realized that they are still active in the business “said the Honorable Minister of Environment Rohey John Manjang

The Minister of Environment Climate Change and Natural Resources mentioned this during the six days nationwide familiarization tours from 25 to 29 June 2022 the delegation visited various illegal logging timber landing sites in Kasalang Lower Fulladu District CRR South. The minister and delegation visited two timber trading landing sites and ensure that those responsible are warned to avoid being dealt with according to the law.

According to the Minister, Senegalese authority still has a big role to play here we have to take the blame for accepting to receive them and providing the market for them, now we want to come up with the decision to close the market through the border entry points and the seaport.

“We finally want to start enforcement nationwide and all the authorities are going to respond especially the alkalos the ministry with the government as a bigger stakeholder. We are going to strategize the ground to make sure everything is normal, if the ground is clear some timber products will be allowed for local consumption. But you have to get certified authorized documents that will allow selling timber for local consumption “she said.

The Alkalo Kasalang CRR South Mr Adama Baldeh said that Senegalese timber loggers travel kilometers at night, with loaded donkey carts, just to smuggle illegal logs to The Gambia. Once they make it to the border points, they meet their business counterparts in the Gambia. Consequently, some timber dealers purchase their logs within the country at the border points of McCarthy (CRR), Mansakonko (LRR), and Basse (URR). He added that timber logging in The Gambia is very limited as most of the logs are from Senegal.

According to the Alkalo Baldeh, the legally authorized timber trading lasted only a short period. Yet, he said, illegal trading continues all year round with Gambian timber dealers still investing huge sums of money in attempts to smuggle logs of lucrative value such as Mahogany, Tali, and even Rosewood. Mr. Baldeh said that all these species come from the Southern part of Senegal, in Casamance and Tambacounda regions.

Isatou Jawara

Information Officer