Ghana — President John Evans Atta Mills, has said Ghana lost 360,027,775.75 Ghana cedis to fire outbreaks last year, and as at September this year, the country had recorded 229 bushfires.
He said bushfires were destroying the countrys forests thereby affecting agricultural development.
President Mills said these in a speech read on his behalf at the national launch of 2011/2012 bushfire prevention campaign on the theme: Prevent Bushfires and Save the Environment: The Role of Traditional Rulers, at Adaklu-Helekpe in the Volta Region.
He noted that bushfires were more often started deliberately and urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and traditional authorities to enforce by-laws to protect the environment.
President Mills called for a review of bushfire prevention laws to make them more punitive to deter people from causing bushfires.
Mr Jospeh Amenowode, Volta Regional Minister, said the Regional Coordinating Council would reward traditional areas which would adopt the best bushfire prevention practices.
Mr Michael Kobla Adzaho, Adaklu-Anyigbe District Chief Executive, expressed the Assemblys resolve to support and reward traditional areas ensuring good bushfire prevention practices.
He said the Assembly was enforcing its by-laws, especially the one on group hunting, to punish people who destroy the environment.
Some districts and groups were awarded for their roles in protecting the environment in the past year.