GHANA – Baayiri — The Upper West Regional Command of the Ghana National Fire Service has called on the various municipal and district assemblies (MDAs) in the region to set up bushfire control sub-committees to regulate the burning of vegetation as mandated by the PNDC Law 229 of 1990.
The sub-committee will be expected to check operations of farmers and hunters whose activities might cause unintended harm to the ecology.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer, ACFO Nathaniel Gaddiel Ebonyi-Amoah made the call when he launched the 2018/2019 Anti-bushfire Campaign at Baayiri in the Wa East District of the region.
The anti-bush fire campaign had become necessary with the advent of the dry season, during which a lot of burning was done in the region.
This persistent practice of indiscriminate burning which had caused harm to a lot of private and public owned properties like farms and wooden electricity poles was frowned upon by the GNFS.
Speaking on behalf of the regional commander, ACFO Ebonyi-Amoah said the sub-committee could be formed during assembly sittings and did not require much resources to institute and get them working.
He, therefore, urged the assemblies to expedite action and set up the bushfire watch dogs to augment the efforts of the GNFS in the region.
ACFO Ebonyi-Amoah also launched a two hundred and fifteen (215) fire volunteer team for the Kataa and Baayiri communities, and urged them to exhibit discipline.
The ACFO advised the fire volunteers to serve as role models for their respective areas and also assist the GNFS to protect the remaining vegetation cover in the region from indiscriminate bush burning.
For her part, the Director for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the region, Mrs Zenabu Wasai-King reiterated that bushfires had been identified as one of the major socio-economic problems stifling the economic progress of the Savannah ecology in which vegetation and food crops were consumed perennially by the fires.
She indicated that the phenomenon had affected biodiversity and also lowered productivity in agriculture by making the soil lose its nutrients or burning unharvested farm produce thereby increasing food insecurity in the region.
Mrs Wasai-King announced that protecting the environment was a shared responsibility that required the dedication of all and sundry with disciplined and committed will to fight the menace.
She urged traditional authorities in the region to use their revered positions to safeguard the lands by ensuring that culprits who set careless fires to cause harm were dealt with when caught and reported.