By Aja Musu Bah Daffeh
Trucks carrying timbers where seized in Brikama SSP where the ECOMIG soldiers are stationed 12 days ago. The truck drivers were asked to surrender their documents including licences.
Babucarr Badjie the Senior Revenue Collector of Forestry in West Coast Region (WCR) told Foroyaa that they equally have no idea about the issue. He said that Mr Ousman Cham the Regional Director of Forestry in WCR is investigating the matter.
Some of the truck drivers, Alhagie Sawo, Mbaye Secka, Omar Secka, Edrisa Dumbuya amongst others said that their trucks have been parked for 12 days with no reason advanced for it. He noted that they have been sitting without earning income and they are responsible for feeding their families and apprentices every day.
They asserted that the timbers they carried are from The Gambia and they also have authentic documents. “We have our licences and we work according to the rules accorded to us,” they said.
They added that whenever they ask the ECOMIG soldiers who authorized them to stop them from proceeding, their reply is “the order is from The Gambia Armed Forces”.
They are appealing for the government to act fast because most of them live from hand to mouth, adding that the more their stay holds, the more they become worried of feeding their families. “If there is any law which states that timber is not allowed in the country, then the government should simply tell us because as family men we are working to sustain our families and not to be in trouble.
Sarjo Saidy a timber owner and a resident of Kiang Kweinalla narrated that his logs have been held in Brikama for 12 days adding that he does not acquire his timbers illegally because the logs are from Kiang Kwinella Forest.
He said he has paid money to government before taking the logs out of the forest and besides he said the community forest managers sold the logs to him, therefore he doesn’t know why they are still not released. “All the days we have been here, no government agent has even been here,” said Saidy.