Wednesday, May 1, 2019 12:10 pm
By Bamidele Ademola-Olateju
Two weeks ago, I was driving near the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. I looked at the picturesque dense trees on the mountains, the scenic overlooks and a few houses up the mountains. Each time I see densely forested gorges, mountains and ridges, I think of what has happened to Nigeria’s rainforest. All the trees are logged! I drove from Lagos to Ila-Orangun last October, I did not see a single Ìrókò, Mahogany, Apepe, Obeche or any tree more than 20 years old. Worse, we are not planting any. The thick, scary forests of my childhood where abikus were buried are all gone.
America plants 1.6billion trees every year. Many forests are protected. Germany’s Dark Forest has unbroken canopy and you can’t see the sun walking through. They do this because they know the importance of a good environment to human well-being. We have sold all our trees to the West and China while they kept theirs and are actively planting trees. Trees consume the carbon dioxide we breathe out and produce oxygen that we breathe in. Without trees, pollution will consume us. Our weather will change.
Logging is controlled here. I caught this picture during my drive. The fascinating thing about the tree rings in this picture is that no tree here is less than 50 years old. You can determine the age of trees by looking at the circular rings on them. The dendrochronology of the trees with darker rings is very fascinating, even on the surface. At every turn I ask; is there anything we are doing right in Nigeria? Whatever your politics, one thing is right; the stupid will always pay a heavy price for their stupidity.
– Bamidele Ademola-Olateju writes from the US