Ghana — Two hundred and thirty-four anti-bushfire volunteer groups, have been established in towns and villages in Sunyani Municipality to assist fight against bush-burning and other human activities that could cause bushfires.
Division Officer Grade III Francis Gaisie, Acting Sunyani Municipal Fire Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), announced this at the launch of the Municipality’s anti-bushfire campaign, which coincided with the its celebration of the 26th National Farmers’ Day at Yawsae near Sunyani last Friday.
He said the Municipal Assembly’s bye-law against the use of naked fire on the farm during the 2010/2011 farming season, which came into force on December 1 this year, would last till March 31, 2011. Mr Gaisie warned that the Assembly would not tolerate recalcitrant farmers or groups and appealed to the media, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and all other stakeholders to help to check activities that could start bushfires in the Municipality during the harmattan season. He specifically mentioned game hunters, charcoal burners, palm-wine tappers as well as cigarette smokers as the most offenders and urged such persons to desist from the practice to save life and property. The acting Municipal Fire Officer said there were 43 fire volunteers in Sunyani Municipality and commended the Assembly, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Police and the Fire Service with whose support the volunteers were trained.
Meanwhile, Divisional Officer Grade I Paul Opoku Peprah, Regional Fire Officer, said at Nsawkaw in Tain District where the regional launch was held as part of the regional celebration of the Farmers’ Day, that 7,000 fire volunteers had been trained in the region to fight bushfires. He said last year the regional office of the GNFS recorded 155 cases of bushfire whilst from January to October, this year, 55 cases of bushfires had been recorded. Mr Peprah attributed the outbreak of bushfires to group hunting, especially during the dry season and warned that the ban on the practice was still in existence and perpetrators would be made to face the full rigours of the law.