These three boys are driving an ox cart with a load of firewood. Gathering firewood for cooking fires is a major reason for wood consumption and, as the population grows rapidly, contributes to deforestation. Not only do villages in the rural areas have to supply their own firewood needs from the surrounding forests, but commercial firewood collectors from the urban areas travel to the rural areas to collect firewood and transport it back to the urban areas on large lorries.
There are few prospects for a long term solution to this problem, as even in the urban areas alternative energy supplies (gas, and electricity) are significantly more expensive than the traditional wood fire. Lack of fuelwood due to deforestation is going to continue to have a large impact on the lifestyles of Gambians as the forests becomes smaller and smaller, especially for the rural poor who can't afford alternative energy sources.submitted by Andy Lyons