Ghana — Group hunting for game and uncontrolled burning to clear land for maize cultivation have been identified as the two main causes of bushfires in the Tano North District of the Brong-Ahafo Region.
Mr Peter Adiyiah, District Fire Commander, who told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Duayaw-Nkwanta, said, game hunters in the area moved in groups to trap grass-cutters using indiscriminate burning of bushes as a method.
He expressed concern that maize farmers were also using bush burning as a quicker and cheaper means to prepare large tracts of land to cultivate maize.
The District Fire Commander expressed worry that, it had become a tradition and a means for a section of the people to generate income to the detriment of others and the District as a social and economic entity.
Mr Adiyiah explained that, the resultant economic loss to individuals and destruction of medicinal plants, cash crops and economic trees that belonged to the State were more serious than the profits being made by those engaged in the menace.
He said, as it was considered a community problem, his outfit had adopted a community approach in collaboration with the chiefs, fire volunteers and opinion leaders through durbars in various communities to find solutions to it.
The District Fire Commander said they were also using local FM Radio stations to carry out educational campaigns on the effects of bushfire and its prevention, adding, the crusade is being carried out with the assistance of the Police and National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).
Mr Adiyiah noted that, fire outbreaks in the District is very minimal in January but is too high and severe in February because of much sunshine coupled with strong winds and dry vegetation.
He appealed to the residents to cooperate with them to save the District from that annual ritual that was doing more harm than good to the society.