(JollofNews) – Residents of Foni Bondali District have called on their various village heads and development committees to protect and make more contribution towards the development of their communities.

The people complained of certain disappearance of large volume of their forest covers due to indiscriminate tree felling, demanding their leaders to immediately step in before their forests turn into desert.

During a day-long road safety exercise on Saturday along the Taiwan Government funded 9km road that connects Mayork, Alla Kunda and the home village of Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh, residents called on their leaders to put up stringent measure to punish those who are bent on cutting down trees from their forests.

Foni used to be one of the most active charcoal production regions in the Gambia before the activity was banned by the government of former President Jammeh, which imposed tough penalties for offenders.

“This is to remind our leaders that we are watching them. Once you accept to lead the people, you must equally be ready to act on their interest and be the number one protector of their natural resources,” one of the residents told JollofNews.

“Unfortunately, most of the people cutting down the trees come outside of Foni and are hosted by either the chiefs, alkalos or family heads.”

Hamadi Sowe, Mayork Ward councilor said in order to address the problem of indiscriminate tree felling in their forests, district authorities and their people must come together on at a common platform put up measures.