FEMI IBIROGBA reports on activated charcoal production in Nigeria and such effects as increased solar radiation, climate change, floods, unsustainable precipitation and effects on food production
Concerned Nigerians raised alarm about the dangers associated with the senseless destruction of forests in the names of the production of charcoal and other economic exploits of the forest.
Diversified use of kerosene for home cooking and aviation fuel has led to the fact that the price of the pump has not reached the average level of Nigerians, and the price of cooked gas is also high for the majority. Lilith kerosene fluctuates around N250, and a kilogram of culinary gas – around N320.
Similarly, the desire of the country, by expanding the Export Promotion Council of Nigeria, to diversify the export base from oil, unwittingly claims the reckless destruction of the forest. The desire to earn foreign reserves through exports, including charcoal, and the movement towards food and yield in a clean and green environment is not only paradoxical, but also absurd, given the threats posed by the situation for people, wildlife, forests and the globe as a whole .
Therefore, the search for cheaper sources of energy and the inexpedient desire to export something have led to the depletion of forest depletion, global warming, natural disasters of floods and floods, excessive and erratic rains, noting only a few.
Again, foreign demand for charcoal has led to an intensification of deforestation, deforestation, production and exports of charcoal.
One graduate from the University of Ilorin, a graduate of the Mechanical Engineering Department of Muzbau Jimoh, who was the agent of a coal mining company from Kvara, Kogi, Oyo and Niger for export to India, China and Saudi Arabia, reliably told The Guardian that for a month it was 200 metric tons were bought, and about nine other companies simultaneously used the same or more charcoal from the states.
Conservatively, 12,000 metric tons of charcoal is produced only in Quara, meaning that about 48,000 metric tons of the product are produced in just four states in six months. The main north also produces charcoal in thousands of tons, despite the increase in solar radiation in the zones.
Jim acknowledged that actions that usually start from the very beginning of the dry season before the next rainy season threaten semi-arid regions in the north-central geopolitical zone, and the creation of deserts, more and more often, prevents intensive plant growing.
About six months or more trees are cut down, processed for charcoal and sent out of the country recklessly, leaving some people smiling at the bank, and the land warms up from everyone.
Professor Albert Olaemi of the Regional Center for Educational Examination (RCE) on sustainable development recently reported that Nigeria is losing its forests at a rate of 11.1 percent per year, making it the highest on earth.
From the forest ecology of the South to the semi-arid regions of the Northern Central and Northern North, the cutting of trees for the construction of buildings, the production of furniture, the production of charcoal and other economic uses is undoubtedly a massive increase.
Dr. Oladapo Olukoya, Acting Division Chief, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Conservation, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), confirming the intensity of the use of charcoal and deforestation, told The Guardian that in the north some scientists and rich cooking with charcoal believe that when they cook with charcoal, the food will taste better, unlike kerosene or gas.
However, Olukoya says that everything that affects trees affects animals as well as the whole ecosystem, adding that when wood is burned and natural carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange are destroyed, it destroys the ozone layer, which increases heat and, therefore, evaporation increases, sea level and floods also increase.
Dr. Kayode Ogunjobi, Forestry Department of FUNAAB, said that the production of charcoal has continued for some time, but, unfortunately, most people who go to the forest to collect trees for the production of charcoal do so indiscriminately.
"We do not practice the principle of sustainability here, because we have fallen trees, not replacing them. You will see that the trees that we used for many years are those that were planted in the last couple of decades or more. Now everyone goes there to harvest without transplantation. So, this is one of the problems, – complained Ogunjobi.
Dr. Sunday Aladele, executive director of the National Center for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), told The Guardian that "The production of charcoal depletes the forest. The government should wake up and check the trend. We are killing the future of the country. The government must implement the necessary legal measures. "
Science has proved that ultraviolet radiation (UVB), caused by the depletion of ozone layers, affects the physiological and developmental processes of plants. Despite the mechanisms to reduce or restore these effects and the ability to adapt to elevated levels of UVB, plant growth can directly affect radiation.
Changes in the shape of plants, the distribution of nutrients in the plant, the timing of developmental phases and secondary metabolism may be the same or sometimes more important than the damaging effects of UVB. These changes have important implications for the competitiveness of plants, resistance to plant diseases and plant protection.
Rainfall patterns in the savannah ecologies in the country have become so volatile and hesitant that farmers are unlikely to plant two seasons of biennial crops, such as corn. The production of corn is of great economic importance not only for human consumption and industrial use, but also for the production of animal feed.
A farmer in the Oke Ogun district of Oyo State, Mr. Tunde Orodji, previously told The Guardian that the grain farmers in the area can plant only one round this year, unlike the two that are usually set up to this point. He lamented that the only batch of corn planted this year also suffered from inadequate rainfall and infection by army worms, forcing farmers to pessimistic about their profitability and profitability.
Inadequate local maize production means massive grain imports and, as a consequence, exports of jobs and wealth to other countries, when Nigeria is considered the country with the highest number of extremely poor people in the world.
Professor Samuel Olakodjo, a maize native, said earlier that poor corn production in Nigeria would have an inflationary impact on the cost of producing poultry and corn products, threatening food availability and safety.
Similarly, yields of beans, sorghum, millet and other crops are highly dependent on unstable or inadequate precipitation, especially in less mechanized and rain systems such as Nigeria.
Phytoplankton forms the basis of aquatic food nets, and scientific evidence has proven a direct reduction in phytoplankton production due to an increase in the number of UVF associated with depletion of the ozone layer.
It was found that solar radiation damages the early stages of development of fish, shrimp, crabs, amphibians and other marine animals. The most serious consequences are the decrease in reproductive capacity and the development of larvae.
Thus, radiation radiation can lead to a decrease in population or the disappearance of small marine organisms, which will affect the entire marine food chain.
Professor Kolavole Adebayo, speaking with The Guardian on this issue, described the production of charcoal as debilitating and counterproductive. In his opinion, cutting down trees adds a negative climate change, since trees must give off oxygen and get carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The second level, says Adebayo, is that the production of charcoal releases into the atmosphere a lot of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, heating the globe and affecting vegetation, wildlife and people.
The way forward
Olyukoya, revealing steps to remedy the situation, said that the way forward is the orientation of people to participate in the reconstruction of Africa. "Let's encourage more people to plant trees. Despite the fact that they plant, the speed with which they do it does not coincide with how they fell, "he said.
He argued that if people can be educated to carry out massive reforestation, as well as primary and secondary schools, students will also be mobilized who can go through a practical curriculum, the replenishment culture can be redone.
Alternatively, Ogunjobi proposed the production of sawdust briquettes, which, he said, "imply safer fuel. There is a way to convert sawdust into something else. "
He argued that instead of throwing shavings carelessly to create trouble, people should produce a briquette to cook. For him, it would not be necessary to receive forests for charcoal, and jobs can also be created in the process of producing briquettes.
He said: "The government and individuals must begin to study how we can save the environment. There is a saying that the last person on earth will die when the last tree dies. So, why do not we plant?
Aladela, the NACGRAB boss, urged the government to be active enough to stop the tendency to cut down trees, using law enforcement to limit illegal forest exploration. For him, although the illegal production of charcoal could provide temporary assistance for several beneficiaries now, long-term effects will affect everyone and stay for generations.
Jimoh, a graduate of engineering, participated in the search for coal for the company, because he could not get a job after graduation, and the acquisition of welding skills did not have a big financial impact. Therefore, he urged the government to persistently create more jobs and make the business environment more investment-friendly so that they could survive and create jobs for young graduates.
With their help, he argued that some people who were forced to illegally exploit the forest, will find alternative livelihoods, and cutting down trees will decrease.
In proposing solutions, Professor Adebayo said: "We can do three things to stop this trend. First, we can increase the level of energy in the country. People use charcoal to produce heat, and if we improve the production of electricity, more than 30% of charcoal will not be needed. "
Second, he added, is that if electricity is difficult, Nigeria should increase gas production for cooking; saying that if gas is cheaper, domestic users will use it for cooking, not for charcoal.
Another solution, in his opinion, is that it is necessary to plant a person to plant 10 trees to replace felled ones, and with this a clean loss of the forest will be taken care of by new trees.
The government should consider establishing community forest guards to train charcoal producers on how to replenish the forest and prevent unauthorized cutting of trees as part of the way forward.
He is firmly convinced that the export of charcoal can be controlled with good policies to make the export of the product expensive. Excess gas could also be exported to countries that produce coal in the country, because this is a cleaner and better energy for them and for us.
Carbon emissions from vehicles, gas combustion, industrial emissions and deforestation through the production of charcoal heat the ecosystem, warm the atmosphere and participate in the call for peace to save the world and make it a better place for all.