Ghana — A total of 75 fire volunteers have passed out in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region to help combat bush fires in the area.
The volunteers, who underwent two weeks intensive training, were trained by the Ghana Fire Service sponsored by the World Vision, Ghana (WVG).
They are made up of Balungu 20, Shia 28 and Sepaat 27.
Speaking with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the closing of the training at the weekend, in Thompson, Assistant Divisional Officer Class II, Outgoing District Officer in charge of the Talensi District, said the volunteers had received adequate training and skills to effectively tackle bush fires in the area.
Assistant Divisional Officer Class II, Adade Nana Yaw, who is the substantive District Director of the Ghana Fire Service, admonished the trained officers to take their work seriously to help reduce the menace of bush fires in the area.
He said his outfit would intensify education and sensitization programmes to combat the pandemic and noted that unlike cities where fire outbreak were basically home based in the northern parts it was bush fires.
Assistant Divisional Officer Class II, Nana Yaw commended WVG for sponsoring the training programme and called on the district assemblies and others NGOs to also support the Ghana Fire Service in training fire volunteers and in education programmes.
Mr Samuel Laari, Development Facilitator of Projects of WVG in charge of the Talensi District, said his outfit in the past had supported the training of a lot of fire volunteers and mentioned the beneficiary communities as Yameriga, Wakii, Tongo-beon, Yinduri.
He the WVGs support to the training of fire volunteers formed part of the implementation of a project dubbed: Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) aimed at addressing environmental issues.
It is the hope of WVG that these young men and women, who had passed out, will help to prevent fires from attacking and destroying the FMNR Project, which is very dear to WVG.
In the Yameriga, Wakii, Tongo-beon, Yinduri where we trained fire volunteers, the problem of bush fire had reduced drastically and the project is doing very well there. We hope something will be repeated here, Mr Laari noted.
The FMNR is a low-cost, sustainable land-restoration technique used to combat poverty and hunger amongst poor subsistence farmers in developing countries by increasing food and timber production, and resilience to climate extremes.
It involves the systematic regeneration and management of trees and shrubs from tree stumps, roots and seeds, he said.
The Assembly man for the Shia Electoral Area, Mr Volmeng David Nansong, reiterated that the fire volunteers would help reduce the rampant spread of bush fires which has caused environmental damage.
Master James Kwabina Debiyinne, a beneficiary, said they hope to bring to bear in their respective communities what they had learnt.
He said they would embark on vigorous education and sensitization programmes on how to address bush fires and to also ensure that they liaise with the District Assembly to enact bye-laws on bush fires.