Men push a log out of the water near Okobaba sawmill at the edge of the Lagos Lagoon. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

Mass land clearings and logging — both legal and illegal — in Nigeria have contributed to the significant deforestation of rainforests and woodlands across the country and the African continent as a whole. And yet wood logging remains one of the most important tools for providing fuel and power to the over 120 million Nigerians who rely on its practice for firewood and cooking. According to U.N. data, Nigeria lost just over 2 million hectares of forest annually between 2005-2010 due to  agricultural expansion, logging and infrastructure development.

Reuters photographer Akintunde Akinleye beautifully documents several of the laborers who rely on logging as a source of income as well as a means for heating homes, cooking meals and carrying out everyday tasks.


A laborer supports a log as it is moved into a truck in an unreserved forest in Igede-Ekiti township. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

Planks are piled up in a shop at Okobaba sawmill at the edge of the Lagos Lagoon. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

Laborers roll a log into a milling machine at a sawmill near an unreserved forest in Igede-Ekiti township. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

A man cuts down a tree in an unreserved forest in Igede-Ekiti township. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

A tree trunk is carved with markings in an unreserved forest in the town of Igede in Nigeria’s southwest state of Ekiti. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

A laborer’s gloves are seen on a log in an unreserved forest in Igede-Ekiti township. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

A man makes a call on his mobile phone near the electric point at a sawmill near an unreserved forest in Igede-Ekiti township. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

A laborer drives a truck used for transporting logs from an unreserved forest in Igede-Ekiti township. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

A boy loads a canoe with firewood at Okobaba sawmill at the edge of the Lagos Lagoon. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

A worker carries a saw blade at a sawmill near an unreserved forest in Igede-Ekiti township. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

A laborer works a milling machine at Okobaba sawmill at the edge of the Lagos Lagoon. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

A saw blade cuts through a plank at a sawmill near an unreserved forest in Igede-Ekiti township. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

A man rests at a sawmill near an unreserved forest in Igede-Ekiti township. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

A woman collects sawdust at a sawmill near an unreserved forest in Igede-Ekiti township. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)

A woman carries a plank on her head at Okobaba sawmill at the edge of the Lagos. (Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters)