Ghana — Fire Service (GNFS) in collaboration with other stakeholders in bush fire prevention has held a forum in Cape coast to create awareness about bush fires and its adverse effects. The 2010/2011 bush fire prevention forum, which was held to enlighten the community on the benefits of preventing wild bush fires, domestically and commercially, was on the theme: “Managing the Impact of Climate Change through Sustainable Bush Fire, the role of the Community/Stakeholder.” Representing the forestry Commission, Mr Amoah Acheampong said the Commission had undertaken a research on wildlife which was geared towards bush fire prevention.
He said the research trained more than 200 personnel in the Central Region on the hazardous nature of bush fires. Mr Acheampong said the establishment of green fire belts and fire towers would help in detecting bush fires in fire prone areas. He emphasised the need for reafforestation to help replenish Ghana’s depleted forest.
Mr Daniel Sarpong of the Environmental Protection Agency, reiterated how bush fires had become a major environmental problem in the society. He said smoke which emitted from bush burning were full of carbon and could rise up in the sky to form a thick blanket, which trapped heat referred to as global warming.
Mr Sarpong said bush burning had led to erosion, loss of fertile land for food production which subsequently caused poverty. The Regional Commander of GNFS, Kwesi Ankonam Quayson explained the need for a regional strategy to fight bush fires, saying it would help coordinate all necessary efforts to prevent the phenomenon.
He said the region had recorded 399 cases of bush fires and therefore lauded the 2010/2011 campaign against the phenomenon as “timely”.
Mr Sandy Amartey, a representative of the National Disaster Management Organisation advised the public to do their little bid to prevent bush fires. The Chairman for the occasion, Mr Jonathan Robertson encouraged stakeholders to help increase the awareness on bush fire prevention and enlighten the rural folk on how bush fires could have negative impact on the socio -economic base of Ghana.