Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Somalia to Be Place Without Trees in Few Years: Environmentalists

An alarming report over the environment situation in Somalia warns that the country rich in the wildlife and jungles will be a country without trees within a few years.


An alarming report over the environment situation in Somalia warns that the country rich in the wildlife and jungles will be a country without trees within a few years.

The report, displayed here by a team of environmentalists knownas the Natural Resource Management and Environmental Protection active in most of Somalia's regions, marks the World Environment Day on Wednesday .

The report stated that the four regions of the country, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle, Middle Jubba and Lower Jubba are the most seriously hit by the deforestation activity going on in the past 12 years after the downfall of the late regime.

Strengthened by pictures, the report went on to reveal 8,000 square kilometers of land from West of Hiran region and Kunyo Barrow village of Lower Shabelle region has been made barren afterthe entire jungles have been wiped off.

Dr Mohamed Elmi Soyan, a veterinarian doctor and an environmentalist among this team said in their study they discovered that 20-25 heavy-duty trucks loaded with charcoal come into Mogadishu everyday for export.

The report also stated that in the past three months alone, four huge vessels loaded with charcoal have sailed off Mogadishu port with each of them carrying 60,000-100,000 sacks of charcoal.

The report went on by saying this means each vessel was carrying over 10,000 huge trees cut off from Somalia's soil, something the report characterized as alarming and at this rate, the report said. Somalia will be treeless within a few years.

This environmentalist team is also concerned over Somalia's wildlife. The report said Somalia's wildlife is now almost non-existent after freelance poachers have been hunting the wildlife mercilessly in the country benefiting from the lawlessness.

The team has displayed a picture they took from a truck carrying the meat and the skin of dozens of gazelle meant for the local market in Brava town.

Dr Soyan has also displayed the picture of a man with three small lions which he said are meant for exporting to some of the Gulf countries, but did not mention which country.

The environmentalists have especially pointed their finger of blame at the administrations of the ports of Mogadishu and Kismaiowhere the export of the illegal commodity continues.

They have threatened that everything is now being recorded and one day those responsible and those giving them the facilitation for the export will be brought before the justice.

Mogadishu, despite the lack of a strong central authority, still saw independent local organizations marking the World Environment Day with celebrations. This year the global theme is "give earth a chance".

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