Accra, Ghana — The Member of Parliament for Ahafo- Ano South Kweku Balado Manu, who claims to have been a professional palm wine tapper with years of experience, has advised his former colleagues to be extra cautious in their work during this dry season to prevent bush fires.
He explained that, the means with which palm wine tappers carry their fire to their various tapping sites is dangerous and can seriously cause bush fires around this time of the year when the weather is so dry and any small fire can trigger a disaster.
These, were part of a submission made by Mr Balado Manu who is also the first Deputy Chief whip when he contributed to a statement made on the floor of the House yesterday by the Kwame Owusu Frimpong, MP, Ahafo-Ano North and Chairman of the Committee on Environment Science and Technology.
“Mr Speaker being a professional palm wine tapper around 1970 and 1971, I am well informed about the activities of my friends that is why I want to use this opportunity to appeal to them to be careful about their activities so that it does not affect the environment in a manner that will be detrimental to all of us”.
Mr Balodo Manu congratulated the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Payin for his role in conserving the forest and wild life in the country and called on his colleague MPs to educate their constituents to desist from setting bushes ablaze just because they want i grass cutter among other bush meats, a delicacy, which is sold along the Accra-Kumasi road.
John Mahama, MP for Bole Bamboi said, the forest has been depleted so much to the extent that in recent times the dry winds blows much the same way in the south as in the savanna zones, a situation which did not exist in the past.
He called on the Ministry for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment to put a stop to the exportation of certain species of wood which holds the soil together to reduce global warming.
Some other MPs who contributed to the debate called on all and sundry to get on board the crusade of protecting the environment to ensure that the last tree does not die.
But contributing, the Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment told the House that some District Assemblies have banned the activities of palm wine tappers during the dry season and urged other bushfire prone areas to replicate this strategy.
The maker of the statement, Kwame Owusu Frimpong, said in the year 1900 the forest coverage of Ghana was 8.2 hectares but it has reduced in recent times to about 1.6 hectares due to the activities of humans.
“The environment has been denuded, striped naked due to land degradation, forest depletion, wild bushfires, insanitation, pollution and many other factors through the adverse activities of human kind”.
“The effects and aftermath of environmental degradation has resulted in climate change, water shortage and river dry ups, warming planet, advancing desert where one-third of mankind is threatened by desertification, unsanitary societies, pollution and non arable lands leading to famine” he added.
He therefore recommended the maximum application of strong political will and traditional support to curb the canker affecting the environment.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Transportation, Tangu Banyon told the House that the National Road Safety Commission, as part of its road safety management strategy for 2006-2010, has mounted vigorous education campaigns targeted at Haulage Companies, consignees, drivers and general public on the risks associated with improper security of containers on trailers of heavy goods vehicles.
In addition to this, he said, provisions have been made in the Road Traffic Act 683 and reinforced in the Road Traffic Regulations which has been forwarded to Cabinet for consideration and onward submission to Parliament for ratification.
This was in an answer to a question posed by Raphael Kofi Ahaligah, MP for Afram Plains South who enquired from the Minister steps being taking to minimise accidents involving heavy duty vehicles that carry containers without safety belts fastened on them.