Tuesday, 26 April 2011


“I pledge my loyalty to my tribe; not my nation. I am driven by sectarian interests and not values…” Lord, have mercy. These are the words I thought ran through my fellow country men’s minds as they destroyed property and lives after the election results became controversial. That’s how we became displaced. And landed in our new home, the forest!

 Is this the point where you learn to appreciate nature’s forest services? With no doubt, yes. A home with no bias. A habitat for both plants and animals.

Forests affect our lives both directly and indirectly.

The forests have plenty of fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, roots and tubers. Together with other displaced people, we could do hunting and gathering. We made catapults, bows and arrows and could hunt forest birds and animals.

Availability of fibers in the forest enabled us to weave nets, baskets and ropes. We could trade these for sheep, goats and cows. The forest has plenty of grass to graze animals and fodder would easily be found as it grew as undergrowth of the tall trees.

Mention herbal medicine today and people rooted to science give you a skeptical look. The forest has no hospitals, no insurance so you faithfully embrace the non toxic and inexpensive healing properties of medicinal roots and whole foods with medicinal values such as cucumber, lemon, carrots and more. They always made us well.

Ever heard of a royal forest? The forest just made us equal by all means. No gas, no electricity yet you have to cook. We would walk through the forest collecting firewood and burning wood for charcoal. We always had wood fuel for heating and cooking.

Imagine having the urge to relieve yourself in town and there is no tissue paper and to the extreme, no newspapers to clean up. Pencils, paper and books are all a product of forests. For us to have electricity in our homes there must be electricity poles. The furniture we have in our houses are a product of forests. Am yet to see pure glass or cement electric poles.
Ever wondered why the affluent live away from town? The pure oxygen from the forests and love of nature does it. Its fulfilling to wake up to the musical sound of birds and not hooting of trains and vehicles

Forests prevent soil erosion. There is sufficient rain in the forest thus enough water catchment areas but since the rain doesn’t directly fall on open ground, the soil is not washed away thus holds nutrients in the soil. This enables cultivation as the soil is fertile.

Forests attract tourist attraction from within and without. The scenery is beautiful. People also go camping and hiking in the forest.

Honey is known for its antibiotic value. In the forest, we could breed bees to help in pollination and provision of honey. So we always had quick growth of plants and at the same time enough honey.
We also practiced sericulture. We could rear silk worms for production of silk.

Imagine a vehicle without tires. Forests however provide latex which in turn makes rubber tires and erasers.

Thinking of life both in and out of the forest, forests are very important. A bigger part of our lives depend on the forests and its products. It is essential to nature and protect our forests to reap the benefits.

When we cut forests, it’s not only the trees that go but the entire ecosystem.

We have a reason to celebrate World Environment Day; the forests!