Ghana — The insatiable love for bush meat (‘okusie’ and ‘akrantie’) drove local hunters in two villages in the Volta Region to set up bush fires in a bid to trap the animals, only to end up causing destruction of enormous proportions.
In utter disregard of the prevailing dry hamattan conditions, the hunters of Osiabura and Fintey near Asikuma on the Accra-Ho road set fire to the buses but could not control the inferno thus trapping human beings and causing extensive loss to property.
The Finder learnt that some famers in the area ignored warnings from the local authority to desist from the practice as the dry hamattan wind set in and went ahead setting fire to the bushes.
When The Finder visited Osiabura last Friday to ascertain the extent of the problem, another bush fire was raging wildly and spreading rapidly to Fintey.
The fire had completely engulfed electricity poles in its path and was fiercely reaching the electric cables that connect one pole to another.
Residents told The Finder that two young boys were trapped in the fire about four weeks ago when fire set by a village bully hunting game got out of control.
The fire was so fierce we could not put it out to rescue the boys, a resident said.
Residents said they were helpless as all advice and warning fell on deaf ears.
Another resident told The Finder that a similar bush fire completely burnt six electrical poles, leaving the township without electricity for several weeks, affecting economic activity in the area as a result.
When The Finder contacted the man alleged to have started the bush fires to get his side of the story, he said he had nothing to do with the fires but was rather blamed by the community each time bush fires engulfed it.
The Finder saw fires so close to the edge of the highway linking Accra to the Volta Regional capital of Ho that drivers plying the road had no alternative than to veer into the lane of vehicles approaching from the opposite direction.
A driver heading towards Ho told The Finder that drivers were compelled to drive in the middle of the road because they feared getting caught up in the flames.
The Finder saw some bitumen melting on a wide stretch of the road as a result of the extensive bush fires which had inched to the edges of the road.