Ghana — Chiefs in the Upper West Region have called on parliament to review the PNDCL 229 on bushfires to give more power to traditional rulers to deal with offenders. They said the annual bush burning and more especially, charcoal burning, was a threat to the environment and something urgent must be done to reduce bushfires.
Naa Sohimininye Danah Gore II, the President of the Upper Regional House of Chiefs, said this at the general meeting of the House in Wa.
He said bushfires were a major cause of environmental degradation and leading to climate change with its effects of flooding, drought and food insecurity in the north. Naa Sohimininye Danah Gore expressed concern about sanitation problems in most of the district capitals in the region due to indiscriminate disposal of refuse and human waste. “Vehicles that carry refuse are left uncovered and sometimes by the time the vehicles reach the disposal point, about half of the refuse is scattered on the main road.”
Naa Gore, who is also the Paramount Chief of the Dorimon Traditional Area, expressed concern about the indiscipline on the roads and called for the a change of attitude among motor riders and other road users to help reduce accidents. He appealed to district assemblies in the region to enforce byelaws on stray animals. On the behaviour of “Foot soldiers” of the various political parties in the region, the chiefs cautioned them to be disciplined and not to do anything that would cause confusion in the region. Naa Gore said the region comprised of nine administrative districts with many stakeholders whose interests should be well catered for when actions were taken against political heads both at the regional and district levels.
Naa Gore was not happy about the numerous chieftaincy disputes in the region, saying out of 17 paramountcies, only 12 had chiefs, four were vacant and were under judicial consideration and one vacant with no successor yet.
He said there were 11 cases being handled by judicial committees in the divisional, sub-divisional and sub-chiefs categories and those had been a source of worry to the house.
Naa Gore said inadequate funding had been a major challenge hindering the quick disposal of cases and appealed to municipal and district assemblies as well as non-governmental organisations to assist the house financially to dispose of cases to promote peace.