by SOMDA Wafaama Armel
Since time immemorial, hunting has been part of human beings’ activities. Until now, it is still there, however, it may differ depending on the place and the rules set. In some areas and more specifically in Africa, hunting is much more than just an activity for fun, but a tradition. Hunting is a kind of legacy that each father had to transmit to his on-growing-boy children. A lot of people are nowadays vegetarians and even vegans, in addition to that the mindset over animals has changed and people consider animals much more like mates instead of hunger-making flesh. Despite the efforts made to protect the lives of living beings (animals, plants, etc) and the law forbidding poaching, people are still killing illegally. Not only are animals’ lives threatened, but the entire nature is victimized. How is that happening? When? Who? Where?
Zintio is one example, a small village in the southwest of Burkina Faso. This village of mine is still half-immersed in tradition (traditional initiation, customary sacrifices, etc). Burkina Faso is a landlocked country which has two seasons: the raining season and the dry season. For hunting, the animal-flesh-eating men must wait until the dry season before they go for shooting.
When the moment comes, all males, each with the right tool, go to the party. As soon as they reach the right place, where they are eager to find some “meat”, they go in a spread row or divided into different groups in order to block each part from which animals can escape.
Now it comes the moment to start doing evils, they put fire to the grass and wait watchfulnessly in each corner. Small or big, flying or terrestrial living beings are killed. Whoopings, jeremiads and pitiful cries are not enough to stop the animals’ vampires. Their tastiness to eating meat let them in without any deep thoughts. How far is the nature threatened?
Not only animals are on their way to die out but also trees, farms are sometimes burnt, erosion has its way plotted. Consequently rains statistics have decreased from about 1500mm/year to now 800 to 1000mm.
How much worse will it be if forests have to burn? Very few animals are now seen because they are all killed or they may have “migrated to somewhere else.” This is the shadow of a heart-rending tomorrow. Crops are getting worse and worse and the farmers could no more just live from their harvest, they have to go to gold mines and seek for survival.
SOMDA Wafaama Armel is a writer, visual artist, and educator from Founzan, Burkina Faso. He has a B.A. in English from the University of Ouagadougou.
Photo credit: Rebecca Bacon Ehlers