Ghana — One hundred and twenty-five fire volunteers have passed-out at Yendi in the Yendi Municipality of the Northern Region.
The volunteers, who were trained by personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), were taken through causes of bush fire burning, effect of bush fires, prevention and control of bush burning, and ways and tools for fighting bush fires.
The Yendi Municipal Deputy Coordinating Director, Mr. Jimah Yakubu, commended the Evangelical Presbyterian Development and Relief Agency (EPDRA), Association of Church Development Project (ACDED), Canadian Hunger Foundation (CHF), the GNFS and their collaborators in intensifying the training of fire fighting volunteers.
He announced that 200 acres of land for planting teak trees had been put under the governments afforestation project, which 120 personnel had been engaged in the project, in the Municipality.
He called on traditional authorities, assembly members and stakeholders to contribute towards eradication of bush fires, felling of trees indiscriminately and encourage their communities to plant more trees.
Mr. Yakubu said the Yendi Municipal Assembly would continue to support the training of fire volunteers in the Municipality to eliminate burning of the bush in the Municipality.
The Station Manager of Evangelical Presbyterian Development and Relief Agency, Mr. Joshua Nyaaba said the 125 farmers, who had undergone the training, were drawn from Tusani, Linpua, Zang, Kpalgabini and Bini in the Yendi Municipality.
Mr. Nyaaba said 225 other volunteers in the Municipality had passed-out already.
He stated that, without appropriate responses, climate change was likely to constrain economic development and poverty reduction efforts.
Mr. Nyaaba said while climate change negotiations took place in the international arena, there was often limited knowledge and understanding of the subject, and its implementation at the local level.
The Yendi Municipal Fire officer, Mr. Daniel Nii Amponsah Dodoo, reminded them that, in 1983, Ghana had worst bush fires when hunger, poverty and deprivation were prevalent among the populace.
He said government enacted the PNDC Law 229, which replaced PNDC Law 46 to empower district assemblies to form bushfire controlled sub-committees.
He said it was disheartening to note that bush burning in recent times had become a ritual in most communities.
Mr. Nii Amponsah said stakeholders particularly Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, who were supposed to be the stronghold in terms of collaborating with GNFS to educate and train bushfires volunteers, seemed to be paying little attention to that cause.
He said they would create fire belts in selected areas and make sure that these areas were strictly governed by the bush fire by-laws, and protected over many years to enable them tell a success story.
The Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of ACDEP, Mr. Emmanuel Attande said the ACEDP, had an intervention for the farmers in the area of income generating activities – bee keeping, tree planting and environmental protection.