AM Inspiration: Decapitated Giants, Glamour Ground into Sand
Following up on Tuesday's post about Africa's environment reflected in poetry, here's another installment, this time about deforestation. While the word might conjure up associations with the Amazonian rainforest, deforestation is actually an acute problem in Africa. Unlike in Latin America, an estimated 70-90% of people across the African continent use firewood for cooking. Solar Household Energy (SHE) is a nonprofit with an innovative solution to this problem: using solar cookers means the time and money currently used in finding fuel can be redirected, preserving forest land in the process. This is critical in places like Mali, where, SHE reports,
The BBC's article "Deforestation 'faster in Africa'" says that the loss of forest land in Africa is 4 times the world average and 260 years behind the level of reform reached in the Amazon. The fact that much of the forest is held by governments rather than communities, they claim, has stymied preservation efforts.
The Solar Household Energy site has some information on how you can help fight the loss of forest land.
The Nigerian poet Tanure Ojaide has masterfully expressed the transmutation of treeland into desert in more vivid terms. "Deforestation" sounds clinical, like a surgery, but in his poem "Doors of the Forest" he writes of "giants [getting] decapitated...all other species of glamour ground into interminable sand."