(Opinion) World Environment Day: Jeremiah narrates how he has been threatened by his own people in his attempt to fight illegal wood logging
By Mary Maxey October 24, 2019
Environment across the world today is being celebrated with a bleeding heart as the environment weeps and cry for conservation.
The pain of rejection, Dejection, Loneliness, name-calling, castigation, stigmatization, and discrediting from my people is what I go through.
No one trusts me, No one believes me.
My people and kingdom have rejected me because I expose deforestation and illegalities in the forest
No one wants to talk to me. No one thinks I have problems. And no one wants to support me and stop deforestation. I am humanly helpless. Many have wished me crushed, dead, threatened to put my vehicle on flames and many have driven sheep and goats on roads which we run into so we destroy our vehicles and stop harassing them with exposures of illegalities. Many of my folks, friends, family members, and comrades have left me.
Many talks, but now I need them to act so we can jointly stop it. The evidence of looming pandemic and disaster is clear. I see an uprising of this generation of youth on our leaderships on collusion leading to corruption leaving our generations now and unborn with no environment but turning very fast the once cherish savannah ecology into a desert ecology.
But the people are hard-hearted like rocks. God take this heavy load off me I cant no more.
I may lose the only one I find solace in very soon also, my daughter! Not being understood by everybody except my little girl who wants me to be happy and continue doing what drives me passionately. Mantengso-I shall never forget is her name. She promised me she will become an environmental lawyer so she can defend me in the law courts but she is just in JHS 1.
The forest gave me life, food, education, peace, a place to go into, and reflect when I had challenges and takes me very close to my creator. I used to enjoy these forest covers and grooves in blue city-Busunu. Biltong, Kiikalipoto, achifirito, to mention but few. This was just as late as 1989. Today people have built houses and those groves, forests, and cherished vegetation have become houses and one of my colleagues has his house right there.
There are many out there who are worse than me. They can’t even eat a meal without the forest ????!!!
The wild fruits from shea trees, star marine, airborne (Kyuubi), blue, red, and yellow grapes (anyiiyembi), “Mpiibee, Sawada fruits- which gave me great porage and soakings with boiled millet or gari and you needed no sugar because dawadwa fruits powder was sugary. Not forgetting these wild fruits (gun) we ate when we were young and it was believed that I curb urinating in bed or wetting your bed as children ( our animal skins, or animate, or normal mat or the cemented floor the room. The most chewed and cherished cocoa fruit which came during the hunger periods of the march through to may before early maize, yellow corn, the early bean is popularly known and called going. All these have vanished in just 31 years. My daughter hears me talk about all these fruits and survival in the forest for life but she cannot experience them and may never. The air we breathe at those time was clean enough to disinfect your system against the coronavirus or COVID 19. We need no nose and mouth masks, we needed not to stay away from loved ones, we needed not to stay home in pandemics, we needed no physical distancing to solve pandemics.
We found treatment for everything from our forest, malaria, chacha-hunckback, importance, panty wise-HIV AIDS equivalent, stomach ulcer, convulsion, anemia, pneumonia, dry cough, broken bones, classes, immune system boosters, dental care by chewing sticks, the list is unending. In 1989, when the last floods came in busing we caught fish from the gutters for soup, now the former president John Dramani Mahama and siblings have put a house there for their mother. The one-time rice farm and field have become schools and residential areas. That place never dries up till the next season. What has happened and what is happening to our environment?
The forest supported me from age 5 of my life till now and I know they’re worse people than myself whose livelihood even in their productive years depends solely on this forest and her products. I could not eat and pay my way through school without forest products like fruits, shea, and many more.
I am just one person weeping and crying every dawn and people think I dont sleep but no help. In the day I am the most courageous person but in the night I dont sleep but to stay and plea and pray God to take this load off me. But He is not and I cant stop it by myself.
I dont want my daughter to know and my family to hear me crying so I do it in the night. I cant take it anymore. I just want to be! At least stop bleeding from my heart for once! On Monday, June 1, 2020, I saw and counted over 200 charcoal trucks between Fufulso junction and Kintampo on my way to Sunyani.
Hon Herming Alelefulong Veronica, DCE for Bole weeping whiles a shea tree weeps after it has cut down in Tinga for charcoaal production in September 2019. Hon, today is world environment day, a day you wished all well-meaning people will join you and weep for the shea trees and the forest.
The last four nights I have been filming forest destructions, but still, when I show the videos my people just plot against me. Ooh, my creator my God my Lord, and personal Saviour Jesus Christ listen ???? to my plea. Please take this from me. I can’t no more.
I want to urge all well-meaning environmentalists and greeners to join this fight. I got back to life when I shared my frustration with the chief greener Alhaji Ottito Abdallah Achuliwor for Greening Northern Ghana, His response Jaksally you make me cry this dawn, why? You have gone this far and you must not drop now. It is a very daunting task and once people are benefiting from destroying the forests, they will always stand against you and your team. I know how it feels to spend your days on a project dear to your heart and yet not getting anywhere with no hope of success in sight and worse off without support from your people themselves and from officialdom, it is a pity that you have to go through this alone but I think it is time Greening Northern Ghana GNG comes in forcefully to support you whiles we keep hoping for official recognition and support to end this forest menace in our localities. I am sad this morning even though you have arsenals in my bag for action! May God see us through? Jaksally remains strong for the sake of the little Girl-Good morning lone crusader. These were words from greener Ottito which gave me life and now I am sharing this on worlds environment day.
He concluded with the following which I wish to use also, no matter how hard things get in life, just dont give up, hold firm to your grounds and fight with your head up because after heavy rain there will still be sunshine. Never give up!