COCOSHE spearhead anti-bushfire literacy campaign

COCOSHE spearhead anti-bushfire literacy campaign

19 November 2014

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Ghana —  The Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Shea Nut Farmers Association (COCOSHE) Wednesday launched an anti-bushfire literacy campaign, aimed at appealing to people’s conscience to desist from bush burning.

bushfireThe campaign had been designed to use community radio stations, durbars and door-to-door education to draw the attention of people in nine selected districts in the three Northern regions on the short, medium and long term dangers of bushfires.

Alhaji Alhassan Bukari, National President of COCOSHE, speaking at the launch of the campaign, which is being supported by the BUSAC Fund in Tamale, said the advocacy would also include education on the need to reduce the felling and the use of economic trees such as shea for charcoal.

He said bushfire was one of the major socio-economic problems besetting the economic progress of northern Ghana, adding shea trees, which were seen as the cocoa of the north, were being cut-down indiscriminately.

“It is not common to find even an acre of land with vegetation cover all year round. This menace has not only affected the density and diversity of the vegetation in the savanna ecosystem, but has also lowered the productivity of the land and the general agricultural output,” he said.

Alhaji Bukari said most people in the savanna belt depended on the fragile environment for their livelihood and called on the law enforcement agencies to deal decisively with the few individuals, who engaged in activities that degrade the land and environment.

Mr Joseph Awantungo, Consultant of the Anti-bush fire Advocacy, said the campaign would seek to increase the knowledge of the target areas in climate change adaptation by relating the issues to real life situations.

He explained that people assigned various reasons for engaging in bushfire and felling of trees, and that as part of the advocacy some alternatives would be presented to people to stop such negative acts.

“We are encouraging bee-keepers to set up cages in the forests to harvest honey as means of preventing the traditional practice of using fire to harvest honey,” he said.

Mr Awantungo, said the advocacy would strengthen the various community task force against bushfire to check the alleged cattle headsmen and hunters who engaged in bushfire activities.

He appealed to the security agencies especially the Ghana National Fire Service and the district assemblies to enforce its by-laws on bushfire.

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