Editorial: The need for Adamawa to revisit policy on charcoal production, tree felling
In order to preserve the environment which came under tremendous stress as a result of extreme human activities, Adamawa State Government has imposed a ban on tree felling and charcoal production.
Although from the surface, the policy looks good especially from the environmental conservationist point of view and climate change conspiracy theories, however, the policy implementation has failed to consider a number of factors which may render it a still birth or may constitute a huge burden on the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable population. With the coming of the policy, most people in the charcoal and firewood value chain have lost their sources of income.
Its arrival at a time when the petroleum subsidy was removed leading to super inflation which resulted in the loss of income and economic opportunities for many families has further exercerbate poverty and deprivations amongst many families.
Even before the policy was birthed, a number of families are grappling with harsh economic realities occasioned by hyper inflation, job losses and diminishing economic opportunities as a result of the petroleum subsidy removal.
This has made great number of the people to live in perpetual anguish and economic misery. As it is now, a significant part of the population can not provide the most basic needs like food, and water for their families and where these families struggle to get food, sourcing for energy to cook the food has become considerably difficult.
It is our belief that the Adamawa State government came up with the policy with good intentions considering the place of the environmental to all living things. A good environment is surely a precursor for good and healthy living and therefore must be preserved for the benefit of mankind.
But we are also quick to note that it will be a huge travesty to sacrifice man at the expense of environment. It is our informed view that for a harmonious existence, a balance must be struck between these two critical components.
It is our hope that considering the additional suffering people are going through as a result of the policy, the government needs to revisit it with a view to ameliorate its inherent negative challenges as it is said the law is made for the benefit of man not the other way round.
It is in this respect that we urge Adamawa State government and our amiable governor to give this policy a second look. We also implore the state government to use the massive endowments in Adamawa to make cheaper, better and efficient alternative sources of energy available to the people.
It is a misnomer that at this age, Adamawa people still use charcoal and other crude sources of energy with their inconveniences and potential health hazards to cook. The people of a state massively endowed with sunshine, mass bodies of rivers and dams should not be constraint by dearth of efficient alternative energy sources.
The government can also use the endowments to generate a number of good business opportunities leveraging these natural blessings. This strategy, will be a win win situation for the government and the people.
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