Deforestation in Northern Cameroon
With over 40 percent of the land expanse of Northern Cameroon
hit hard by desertification, aridity is resulting in acute food insecurity for over 30 percent of the region’s population. Wanton tree felling without properly coordinated reafforestation efforts is among the most prominent anthropogenic precursors, to which denizens resort, citing the expensive nature of other environmentally less damaging fuel options such as domestic gas.
Derivatives of firewood including sawdust and charcoal are equally in high demand, with the most visible consequences being vast lands devoid of trees, subjected to erosion, with accompanying shorter rainy seasons, the latter usually lasting between the months of June and September, as underlined by Sali Seini, of Cameroon’s Plan for the Fight against Desertification.
Tree planting efforts have begun to be multiplied gradually, in an attempt to reverse the effects of desertification. In the wake of the initiative dubbed “Green Sahel” initiated by the Government of Cameroon thousands of trees are planted each hear, under the stewardship of the country’s Minister of the Environment, nature protection and sustainable development Pierre Hélé. School goers and the rest of the population are encouraged to plant and nurture trees until they are sufficiently mature to survive on their own.
The sale of charcoal is also being discouraged and sanctioned, in an attempt to curb the indiscriminate felling of trees, and thus restore the region’s ecosystem.