…as 21,894,180 trees are destroyed annually
Illegal logging, charcoal burning, fuelwood harvesting and small scale mining activities in the Savannah Region are to be banned effective Monday, May 10, 2021, as part of measures geared toward preserving forest reserves as well as economically viable trees from being destroyed.
These activities, according to the Regional House of Chiefs, have resulted in the wanton depletion of the environmental cover in the region, hence the directive.
A survey conducted in five traditional areas revealed that about 1,042,580 trees are destroyed within a year. The survey further revealed that the number of trees destroyed in the 21 paramountcies in the region translates to some 21,894,180 annually.
The trees under consideration include, but not limited to, the Shea, Dawadawa, rosewood, and kapok trees, as well as other medicinal and economic trees in the wild, which are harvested with impunity.
This directive was contained in a communiqué signed by the chairman of a five-member committee of eminent chiefs, who were selected by the Savannah Regional House Chiefs and under the Chairmanship of the Paramount chief of the Bole Traditional area Bolewura Sarfo Kutuge Feso (I).
“It is in this regard the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs resolved that Commercial charcoal burning, illegal logging, commercial harvesting of fuelwood and illegal small scale mining activities in the Savannah Region be banned effective,” a part of the statement read.
The committee, after the assessment recommended that any vehicle conveying charcoal from the Savannah Region and lands of Savannah Region lying outside the Region will attract a penalty of GH¢5 per bag of charcoal. More so, any vehicle conveying logs or charcoal after the May 10, 2021 will attract a fine of GH¢1,000 only for making available the vehicle for conveyance, it said.
Bolewura Kutuge Feso (I) was selected to chair a committee of chiefs as part of the outcome of the Savannah Region House of Chiefs dialogue on commercial charcoal burning, sustainable small scale mining practices and combating indiscriminate rosewood harvesting in the Savannah region at Damongo on April 21, 2021.
Other members of the committee include Mankpanwura Jakpa Achor- Ade Borenyi (Vice Chairman), Yapeiwura Dr ABT Zakaria, Gbenapewura Shunbore Mahama Sakan, Nnaa Dr. Agba Jaaga Gbanpewa Koro of Mo Traditional area and the Registrar of the Gonja Traditional Council (Secretary).
The five member committee, which was formed and tasked to ascertain the issues and come out with appropriate punitive measures, presented a report detailing the processes to follow to stop the menace in Savannah land.
The committee was also tasked to come out with a procedural document within a week after the stakeholders’ dialogue forum at Damongo last Wednesday.
It also recommends that there should be an Inter-Regional Ministerial dialogue among Ministers of the Savannah Region, Upper West Region and Bono-East Region on the implementation plan and to solicit their support for effective implementation of the plan.
More so, every paramount chief should as a matter of urgency, form a task force in line with the composition of the task force spelled out in the communiqué in his jurisdiction to support the ban to achieve its set goals and report same to the Regional House of Chiefs and that the task force shall comprise Chiefs, Assemblies, Forestry Commission unit and the Security in the Region, it recommended.