Ghana — Yendi Satellite Centre, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) in collaboration with the Ghana National Fire Service in Yendi, have intensified public education on bushfires and its effects on the economy.
A board member of the Centre, Mr. William Apuri Yaw announced this at a forum by the Centre for youth groups and farmers in the Municipality to sensitize them on the causes and preventions of bush fires on Sunday.
Youth groups that participated in the forum include: Final choice, Peace Club, Parliament Club, New Jersey, Young Babatu, and Suhudo Draman Yesu.
He indicated that from January to December this year there had been a number of bush fires that had destroyed a number of farms, particularly from November to date.
Hence, Mr. Apuri said the Centres decision to intensify its sensitizing programme through open fora, public lectures, and meetings with farmers.
He said, last week, a chiefs 10 hectares maize farm and other farmers rice, soya beans, guinea corn farms were also destroyed by bush fires in the Municipality.
Mr Apuri stated that the Centre was sensitizing the youth groups and the farmers to go into the communities to educate the people on the causes and prevention of the bush fires.
He appealed to the Yendi Municipal Assembly to enforce the bye-laws on bush fires, adding chiefs, Assembly members and unit committee members should have powers under the law to punish people who set fires indiscriminately.
Leading Fireman, Mr. Stephen Atta took the groups through the protection of lives and property, natural fires, causes of bush fires, prevention of bushfires, formation of Anti-bush fire volunteer squads, domestic fires among other issues.
He asked the participants to also let the public know of the PNDC law (Act 299) on setting fires.
Fires can be caused by cigarette smokers, hunters, charcoal producers, illegal electrical connections through lighting, among others, but Mr Atta said some of these causes could be prevented through education.
He advised landlords, fuel and gas filling stations managers, vehicle owners among other business owners to ensure that they installed fire extinguishers within premises and in vehicles.
Mr. Atta called on Assembly members to form anti-bush fire volunteer squads in their electoral areas for the Ghana National Fire Service to train them to prevent fires in their areas.
He said with this dry season women should always put off fire after cooking to avoid fire outbreaks in their homes.
Mr. Atta advised farmers to always construct fire belts around their farms to prevent bushfires from destroying their crops.
He called on the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and the Town and Country Planning Department to ensure that construction of buildings followed layouts so that whenever there was fire outbreak the fire thunder could easily be used to put off the fire.
During the open forum the participants appealed to the Yendi Municipal Assembly to support them financially to enable them get into the entire communities to carry-out the sensitization programme.
They called on other stakeholders to get involved in the campaign to prevent bush fire from destroying the land, foodstuffs and properties annually.
They also called on the communities to plant more trees in their areas. GNA