Government loses ¢3.4 billion annually through activities of illegal chainsaw operators, Mr William Amoabeng Beekson, Central Regional Chairman of Ghana Timber Association (GTA) has stated.
He said the situation was alarming and could worsen if effective measures were not put in place to check the menace.
Mr. Beekson was speaking during a meeting between the leadership of GTA and the Asante-Akim South District Chief Executive, Dr. Lord Justice Gyamfi-Fenteng at Juaso.
According to Mr Beekson, the activities of illegal chainsaw operators was not only adversely affecting the national economy but also crippling the businesses of licensed timber contractors.
He lamented the increasing depletion of the nation's forest reserves and called on district assemblies and the Forest Services Division (FSD) of the Forestry Commission to join efforts to halt the trend.
Mr. Bright Manso-Howard, Asante-Akim South District Forest Manager, blamed residents living around forest reserves for condoning activities of illegal chainsaw operators, saying their co-operation was crucial to the fight against the practice.
He recounted instances when residents alerted the illegal chainsaw operators about the presence of forestry officials, thereby aborting their mission.
He called for concerted efforts from stakeholders, including residents around reserves to help prevent the nation wreckers from causing further havoc to the forest reserves.