The men on Somalia’s Daallo Mountain are part of the problem. They spearheaded a gold rush which began around five years ago and has led to the uprooting of frankincense and myrrh trees, some centuries old. “Gold-miners have swarmed into the mountains,” said Hassan Ali Dirie who works for the Candlelight environmental organisation. “They cut down all the plants when they clear areas for mining. They damage the roots of the trees when they dig for gold. They block crucial waterways with their plastic bottles and other rubbish,” he said. “Day by day, they are ensuring the slow death of these ancient trees. The first to go are the myrrh trees, which are uprooted when the diggers clear the land for surface mining. “Frankincense trees last a bit longer as they grow on rocks and are destroyed once the miners dig deep into the earth.”
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