March 5, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — Major General Abraham Mayek Gum, who is the Director of Wildlife in Lakes State has blamed the dwindling numbers of wild animals in South Sudan to the unchecked arms possession.
According to the general, wild animals are fleeing to neighboring countries to seek safety.
As the world commemorated the World Wildlife day last Wednesday, he expressed his worry over the dwindling wildlife numbers in the country.
“There are many firearms in the hands of everyone, SSPDF, police, wildlife, soldiers, prison warders, fire brigade, and armed civilians and this is a reason that made our wild animals flee to neighboring countries of south Sudan in search of safety for their lives,” said Maj. Gen. Mayek.
The general went ahead to urge the traditional chiefs in the communities to enforce wildlife laws in a bid to save the animals from rampant illegal poaching.
He passed a strong warning putting emphasis on the fact that wild animals are a national resource and should be guarded fiercely.
“Wild animals have no difference with your cow. Wild animals are a national resource of the country and they shouldn’t be killed anyhow and you think you cannot be taken to a court of law and get punished,” warned Maj. Gen. Mayek.
The Director-General in the state ministry of environment, agriculture, and forestry, Mabor Kau Lam was also concerned about the increasing tree logging in the Lakes State.
He warned that cutting down trees will not only destroy ecosystems but also cause deforestation in the young nation. He put the illegal charcoal and timber dealers on check saying that those illegal activities should be halted immediately.
“We have forestry Acts which punish violators and it is being implemented whenever you are found to have cut down the trees because we have charcoal dealers and timbers. These people are supposed to come to the ministry of environment and forestry to get approval instead of cutting down the trees on their own approval,” lamented Kau.
The role of the ministry is to conserve forests and wildlife saying they are natural resources of the country and they shouldn’t be allowed to be destroyed,” he continued.
South Sudan has only two national parks; the Southern National Park bordering Warrap and Western Equatoria States and the Shambe National Park which borders Unity and Jonglei States.
According to the United Nations, this year’s theme was “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet” a day to highlight the central role of forests, forest species, and ecosystem services in sustaining the livelihoods of indigenous and local communities with historic ties to forested and forest-adjacent areas.