Africa Lumber Bassila Benin West Africa Saturday, September 23, 2006
No easy to show or photograph, I see the land here as being logged and torn apart by big equipment. I see very little, what I would see as old growth forest, all the land has been stripped of the largest trees, and the smaller trees and brush are constantly worked for firewood to burn in the homes to cook. Cooking with wood or charcoal is the normal way to cook, very little propane, however, there is still an abundance of brush to cut down or old trees.
There is a difference between clearing the land for farming and logging the land. Logging removes select trees, while clearing is that, it clears all the trees and makes open spaces. I almost think there has been no clearing of the land, only logging of the land. It is an unfinished work for the farmer, however allows a person that farms by manual ways like plowing the land or turning the soil with these hoes enough open area to farm. However, makes plowing the land difficult and there is very few long strait stretches of land. The area look logged always, with many small trees everywhere and mounds of dirt, where maybe a tree was pushed over and the roots were exposed, making mound here and there. Not level, not clean, not simple and well planned. Then the farmers came in between and farmed the hollow areas between the problem areas. Never doing it right, not a good usage of land, a clutter look also, no fences makes it seem rather like open spaces, I just see open logged spaces. I may be completely wrong and there has never been large trees, I have never seen this much rain though without large trees. I do not see the pine tree, and this is a fast growing cover tree that works good reestablish a wood or jungle.
On the high side of this, it is easy to build road here in Benin, Africa, the land is flat, and the big trees are gone. It feels like people came into Africa and worked it, pulled out all the lumber, the value, and the whole world never noticed where that wood for mahogany furniture came from, just did not know.