Twenty-five fire volunteers who underwent a week-long intensive training in fire control and prevention have passed out at Tosala in the Chereponi Sub-District of Saboba/Chereponi District of Northern Region.
The volunteers were trained in domestic fire management, bushfire suppression and fire line construction.
Mr Augustus Sena Letsukuma, Chereponi Evangelical Presbyterian (E/P) Church Rural Development Programme Officer, said the Church had realised the detrimental effects of bushfire on life and property.
He said that was why the Church took steps to support communities within its operational area to reduce the occurrence of bushfire in the communities through the formation of fire volunteer squads, he said.
Mr Letsukuma said the Church’s Agenda 21 Project – the E P Church Rural Development Programme in Chereponi, in collaboration with the Yendi District Fire Service had trained the 25 volunteers selected from Tosala, Ando and Angor. He said the volunteers would be tasked to protect an area of five-kilometre square, which would serve as a reference point for monitoring.
The E P Rural Development Programme, he said was operating in 22 communities in food security and micro credit and also helped farmers to market their produce. He said 10 women groups in the Chereponi Sub-District had been assisted with more than 50 million cedis to undertake income-generating activities.
The Yendi District Fire Officer, Mr Antonio Agaadi commended the Church for its foresight in supporting the training of community fire volunteers in collaboration with the Ghana National Fire Service for the prevention of bushfires, which did not only destroy food crops, but also degrade the land.
He appealed to the District Assembly, traditional authorities and the people of the three communities to support the volunteers morally and materially in the discharge of their duties.
The Regent of Chereponi Traditional Area, Munkaila Abubakari Malba announced that the Traditional Council had enacted bylaws on bushfires and that anyone caught setting fire to the bush would be made to pay a fine one million cedis to the Saboba/Chereponi District Assembly. The money would be used for development in the assembly, in addition to paying for the cost of items damaged by the fire.
He urged all the traditional leaders to enforce the bylaw in their areas so that culprits would be properly dealt with.
He appealed to the communities to desist from deliberate bush burning.