Ghana — World Vision, a non-governmental organization, in collaboration with the Ghana Fire Service has trained 109 fire fighter stewards in the Talensi-Nabdam District of the Upper East Region.
The Fire Volunteers who were taken through three weeks training by the Directorate of the District Fire Service came from four communities in the District namely; Yinduri, Wakii, Yameriga and Tongo-Beon.
Speaking at the passing out ceremony, the Programme Manager of the Talensi Nabdam Area Development Programme of World Vision, Mr. Norbert Akolbila, explained that his outfit was undertaking a project called Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) aimed at boosting the vegetation and reversing environmental degradation.
He emphasized the fire volunteers were to help protect the vegetation by preventing it from being destroyed by fire.
He explained that under the FMNR, the farmer selected the shrubs or stumps he or she would utilize and decide how many stems would be allowed to grow on each stump based on the farmers needs with the ultimate aim of re-forestation.
Mr. Akolbila indicated that it was the hope of World Vision that, with the training of the fire fighters and support from the community members, vegetation in the community would be improved upon within a matter of years.
He stressed the need for a multi-sectoral approach to deal with the problems of bush fires which was so common in the area and often led to desertification and environmental degradation.
He called on District Assemblies, NGOs, Traditional Authorities, Community Members, and the Media to join the fight against bush fire.
In a speech read for her, the District Chief Executive for the area, Mrs. Vivian Anafo, commended the NGO for the training programme and said the Assembly had enacted by-laws on bush fires empowering traditional authorities and community leaders to arrest and punish anybody caught starting bush fire in the area.
She stated that the Assembly had also set aside a project to award communities that did not engage in bush fires for a period of time.
She assured the fire volunteers that the District Assembly would motivate and provide them with the necessary logistics to enable them discharge their duties effectively.
The Regional Fire Officer, Alhaji Wynni Azomyan, entreated the fire volunteers to take their work seriously and work diligently to prevent the incidence of bush fire in the area.
He urged them to embark on sensitization programmes to educate the people on the need to stay away from causing bush fires which brought about destruction life, property and the environment.