Ghana — The National Disaster Management Organization, (NADMO) has intensified the anti-bushfire campaign in schools to create the necessary awareness among school children on the dangers of setting fires indiscriminately.
In furtherance of this, NADMO has started a programme on Disaster Management in schools, Mr Kofi Portuphy, National Co-ordinator of NADMO, announced this at the Eastern Regional launch of the anti-bushfire campaign at Fintey in the Asuogyaman District, at the weekend.
He further disclosed that NADMO in conjunction with GIMPA had established a University for disaster management studies.
Mr Portuphy said schools were being encouraged to have disaster educational clubs to know how to prevent disasters in their areas.
He said because bush fires contribute to Climate Change it is important that, “We look at every aspect of it, especially the causes and control systems to enable stakeholders to package effective messages that will engender very good responses from our target population in our anti-bushfire campaign drive.”
Baba Jamal, Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, advised farmers and hunters to go about their activities in a manner that would not cause bush fires.
He reminded them that the forest is for posterity and called for steps to be taken to protect it, adding that destroying it would mean that we are jeopardizing the future of generations yet unborn”.
Mr Jamal said bush fires destroy the ecosystem, engendering hunger and eliminating growth opportunities.
“It is, therefore, important that we strengthen the institutions like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to put environmental issues on the priority agenda.”
Mr James Eric Manu, Eastern Regional Manager of the Forestry Services Division, (FSD) said at the beginning of the 20th Century, the country’s forest covered an approximate area of 8.2 million hectares.
By the end of the century, he said, the figure stood at 1.6 million hectares and attributed the causes to clearance for agriculture, unsuitable timber logging, urbanization and industrial expansion, surface mining, illegal lumber chain saw activities and wildfire, among other things.
Mr Manu called for concerted efforts from non-governmental organizations, stool land owners, traditional rulers, the FSD, District Assemblies and schools to fight against the menace of bushfires. He announced that the Forestry Commission (FC) with funding from the Royal Netherlands Government is currently undertaking a Wildfire Management Project aimed at suppressing wildfires in some fire-prone districts.