Ghana — The Atiwa District in the eastern Region has launched anti-bushfire campaign to sensitize inhabitants on the dangers and effects of bushfires.
Mr Bartholomew Kofi Nketsiah, the Eastern Regional Fire Commander, speaking at the launch at the weekend, said “It has become an annual ritual to launch this programme because man has not decided to stop burning the environment indiscriminately”.
He said the use of fire in the bush, “be it hunting, honey extracting, cooking, clearing of land, driving away reptiles or wild animals, smoking and the likes result in incessant increase of bushfires in the region.”
Mr Nketsiah expressed worry about the rate at which bushfires were increasing in the region, saying that in 2009, the region recorded 105 bushfire cases but it increased to 115 in 2010.
He lamented that the whole region had only 11 fire tenders, adding that even though his outfit was able to put 10 on road, “it is unfortunate to learn that there are ten fire stations without fire appliances.”
Mr Nketsiah entreated the people to be part of the Fire Volunteers and to help the Ghana National Fire Service to create more awareness and respond to emergencies at their early stages before they grow to become serious ones.
He also reminded them of the existence of the Bushfire Prevention and Control Law (PNDC Law 229), saying that it is an offence for one to cause bushfires for any reason and urged all to be vigilant in order not to cause any bush fire.
Mr Emmanuel Atta Twum, the Atiwa District Chief Executive, told the people that he had collaborated with the regional Fire Service to open a fire station in the district and added that arrangements had been put in place and that it would be a reality soon.
Mr Ransford Owusu Boakye, the Regional National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) Coordinator, indicated that government spends a lot on bushfire cases when those monies could have been used for developmental projects.
He later donated 30 lanterns, 60 machetes, 90 Wallington boots and two bails of second-hand clothes to the community.