Pastoralists and farmers in villages in Bardere district in Gedo say they are feeling the positive effects of a ban on tree cutting for charcoal.
Ahmed Mohamed, a local elder in Afyare, 13 km north of Bardere, hailed the decision as efficient for the pastoral and farming communities, who depend on forest resources.
Abdullahi Dirie, a pastoralist, told Radio Ergo that the ban enforced by local elders had saved the remaining acacia trees that had become scarce in the area.
“Our livestock depend on pasture and vegetation growing in the area and people rely on the products of livestock. So if trees are haphazardly cut down, this will have a serious impact on both the lives of animals and humans. There will also be risks of disease outbreaks,” he said.
Environmental expert, Ahmed Muse, said it was important to preserve the environment and stop the illegal cutting of trees for charcoal.
“Trees are important for people and livestock. They reduce the negative impact of winds and storms, soil erosion and are also used as medicines,” he said. “If trees are cut down on a large scale, there will be a lot of problems that will finally degrade the environment and force people to migrate from their areas in search of pasture and life.”
Tree cutting was banned in Bardere and its surrounding villages in 2014. However, deforestation is still rampant in many other parts of the country.