Authorities in Rumamer county in Abyei Administrative Area have issued punitive measures against cutting down some fruit-bearing trees.
According to a local order extended to Abyei FM anyone caught cutting tamarind, ‘lalop’ botanically called Balanites aegyptiaca and ‘nabak’ trees would pay 30,000 SSP as fine or imprisoned for three months.
The Care-taker Commissioner of Rumamer county, Mayot Kunit says these trees are source of food to some people in the area and therefore should not be cut.
“They are forbidden, nothing calls cutting of ‘lalop’, and ‘nabak’ trees to be made as charcoal and construction materials, respectively. This is our rule which has come out. All the fruit trees are not cut. If you try to cut them, we will sentence you to prison for three months,” Mayot said.
The official views that failure to control the use of forests can lead to deforestation and extinction of some tree species, calling for collective efforts and cooperation to conserve those species.
“All elders who listen to me in their respective places. I gave you the responsibilities, if the fruit tree near by your house is cut by somebody and you do not ask him, I will ask you and you will be the first responsible,” he added.
Mayot says they have observed that trees that bear fruits are being destroyed for business purposes, especially in the villages. Mayot warns village residents against such practice given it can lead to extinction of some species of trees and eventual desertification.
Recently residents in Macbong in Rumamer county reported cutting of ‘lalop’ for charcoal making.
Similar efforts to encourage planting of trees and preservation of natural forests are being made by concerned administration.
Last week, the Administration of Agriculture, Animal Resources, Forestry and Fisheries in Abyei Administrative Area distributed 200 seedlings of different fruit-bearing and shade-making trees including Neem, Mahogany, Mango, and Guava.
“We want to tell people who have seedlings and these institutions with all the ability to commit to watering the trees until rainy season comes and make for them a fence. We want people, those who have ability, and everyone who has a house to plant tree, even one tree in front of the house,” Dr. Rou Manyiel Rou, Director-general of the Administration of Agriculture, Animal resources, Forestry and Fisheries told Abyei FM on Tuesday.
Rou says the young plants were bought from the local communities and others were picked from the administration’s tree nursery. The presence of a tree is helpful to the environment and for human health.
A report on forest resources from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations published in May 2020 shows a global decline in deforestation in the world except in Africa.
“Between 2010 and 2020, Africa lost 3.9 million hectares of forest area per year, compared to 3.4 million hectares between 2000 and 2010,” the report says.