…AU, EU to raise awareness on dangers.
…Says, “Over 400b trees live around the world.”
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
As the world marks International Day of Desertification, a Climate expert has called for a halt on traditional method of bakeries to embrace modern method, saying activities of the ‘colonial method’ is causing desertification and forcing millions of wildlife into migration.
The Climatologist also said that the World International Day marked in June 12, 2021, was to combat desertification and drought emergence.
The Climatologist-cum Assistant Director of African Climate Reporters, Dr Piman Hoffman, therefore, urged local bakeries to embrace modern methods of baking to also preserve African forestry from going extinct occasioned by high demand of use of firewood.
He made the assertions in a statement to African Union (AU) and other stakeholders, made available to journalists in Kaduna, to engender quick intervention on continuous attack of forestry by some business men, who are bent on turning the region into Sahara Desert.
According to him, “Traditional bakeries daily contributed to the increased global warming, which in turn triggers climate change. This is because they still practice the old method of using firewood for their activities.
“Africa’s forestry is gradually going extinct due to continuous demand of firewood for domestic cooking, bakery, building construction and mining activities,” he stated.
The Climatologist also stated that every day thousands of trees are cut down without replacement of new ones in Nigeria and some parts of Africa, adding that more forestry are fast turning into desert land, and this has forced the migration of millions of wildlife animals and human beings.
“The daily demand of firewood by traditional bakery houses is becoming a big threat to forestry; hence, the need for African Union (AU), European Union, (EU) and other stakeholders to embark on raising awareness on the dangers posed by traditional bakeries’ activities to the forest land in Africa,” he said.
He noted, too, that a research conducted by a team of African Climate Reporters revealed that, in every community/ghetto in cities of Africa, there are more than 3 to 4 traditional local bakeries that daily use a truck-load of firewood for its activities.
Hoffman stressed that, bakery owners in Africa needed to embrace modern methods to carrying out their activities like electricity or solar power for baking, other than depending on firewood and charcoal.
“Humans throughout history have played a key role in determining the number of living trees, but, the fact remains that local bakeries in Africa consume high quantity of firewood daily for production and other uses.
“The old method of baking consumed large quantity of firewood and yet, workers still used manual form of mixing the ingredients during their production. The old methods were seen as unnecessary, both hygienically and financially unsound, most importantly since it produces bread and sweets that are not up to standard and taste.
“The population of trees decreased daily as a result of this ugly practice of illegal felling of trees, including the activities of local miners. Human activity is the greatest predictor of whether trees will survive in a given area,” Hoffman disclosed.
He maintained that, government must halt the continuous attack on forest for firewood; rather, local bakers should embrace alternative energy from sun, wind, and electricity, adding that previous estimates collected by satellite imaging suggested that just over 400 billion trees live around the world.
“Local bakeries in Africa should embrace modern methods like what is obtainable in some bakeries in Nigeria like: 212 Bakery in Kaduna; Ostrich in Abuja; Mr Biggs; Baker’s Delight in Abuja; Chizee Cake and Catering Services in Lagos; Royal Cakes, Lagos; Cocomilla Catering; James Bakers Delight in Port-Hacourt, among others.”
Hoffman added that, “AU must be committed to the daily fight against climate change and all issues related to environmental degradation to serve the entire region against disasters.”
He, however, disclosed that the Federal Government and the Tropical Wood Exporters Association of Nigeria (TWEAN), have commenced moves to stop the export of processed and semi-processed woods.
Speaking further, Hoffman stressed that trees occupy nearly every corner of the globe, but the study shows coverage is far from even, and factors like moisture and warmth play a role in how many trees exist in a given area.
He added that in a research conducted by some international organizations, people cut down around 15 billion trees each year, and the global tree count has fallen by 46 per cent since the beginning of human civilization.
He also said that majority of rural and urban women now preferred using charcoal for cooking than firewood. According to the women, “charcoal is inexpensive and does not generate smoke.”
While calling on government to support local bakeries to embrace modern methods of baking, the Climatologist appealed to the Ministries of Agriculture and Environment to be more committed in the fight against indiscriminate falling of forest trees.
He said that adequate laws should be put in place to punish offenders like indiscriminate burning of bush, to halt activities of some hunters, who set bush on fire to hunt for games.
He equally appealed to rangers and other stakeholders to be more active in supervising all activities of Africa’s forestry.
Similarly, Patron of African Climate Reporters, Dr Yusuf Nadabo, called on AU to raise more awareness on the importance of planting trees to avert increasing speed of desertification in Africa.
He said that (in another research conducted by a Nongovernmental organization in Nigeria), there is need for Africans to embrace renewable energy, in order to save the forestry against increasing disappearance of plant and animals.
Head of ‘Metro Environment Cleaning and Awareness,’ Comrade Jibril Abdullahi, has asserted that, “We must join hands to educate the public on the dangers of continuous demand of forest trees without planting new ones.”