Logging activities leading to biodiversity loss in Kogi community 

Logging activities leading to biodiversity loss in Kogi community 

Logging activities are leading to a huge loss of forest and biodiversity at Enugu Ogboyaga Community in Igalamela Local Government Area of Kogi. Animals who depend on the forests for survival are disappearing while the forest faces extinction.  

The forest that stretches about 10 kilometres is fast disappearing. A visit to the forest which is about 43 kilometres from Ajaka, the local government headquarters, shows how the activities of loggers are leading to the disappearance of the forest and biodiversity. 

At the community,  MAWA-Foundation found that apart from logging, bush burning has continued to be a major factor leading to the forest’s extinction. 

The locals who spoke to MAWA-Foundation, on a different account narrated how some unidentified persons on many occasions set fire to the forest. A practice the locals say has continued to happen because some persons set fire to the forests to hunt for bush meat. 

Many forests facing extinction in Kogi state as a result of the activities of the loggers are not reported by the media. The lack of media coverage of the incidents is not a surprise. It is a community issue, and community issues do not always find space in the newsroom. Community issues do not make a sensational reading. and, often, the media do not take a deep look at the link between forest deforestation, biodiversity, and its impact on climate change. 

A community leader who spoke to the MAWA – Foundation and wants his identity concealed disclosed that the logging activities will continue because many of the community youth rely on the practice as a source of income. 

For instance, some of the youth who spoke to MAWA – Foundation, say they make money from timber loading. They say a timber log costs N1,500 to move from the forest to an open place where it will be loaded into a truck.

“We make money from the logging activities, each log we bring out from the forest, we get N1,500,” the locals said. 

The forest deforestation in Enugu Ogboyaga community is likely to continue as the locals see it as a means of livelihood. 

Worst still, the Kogi State government has  Forest Guards, which is mandated to protect all forests located all over the state.

However, with the huge deforestation and biodiversity loss in the Enugu Ogbayaga, it is unclear how the state Forest Guards are carrying out their duties.

MAWA Foundation, could not immediately reach out to the Kogi State Government for an official response.

However, a senior official from the state ministry of environment who wants his identity concealed because he is not permitted to speak on the issue, told MAWA foundation that the state does not take issues of forest deforestation and environmental safety seriously.

— Audu Liberty Oseni

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