Environmental degradation and chieftaincy disputes have negatively affected the development of the Central Gonja District of the Northern Region. The District Chief Executive for Central Gonja, Yakubu Zakaria said this at the Third Ordinary Meeting of the Assembly at Buipe. He noted that poverty has also made a negative impact on the environment.
He said due to the absence of economic activities during the dry season, many families burn charcoal and sell fuel wood as their main sources of livelihood.
The DCE attributed bushfires in the area to hunting and warned the people against the practice since it brings untold hardships to many farmers.
He appealed to the assembly members to intensify public education on the harmful effects of bushfires and other practices, which degrade the environment. According to the DCE, the assembly would encourage the establishment of woodlots to prevent the felling of economic trees for fire wood.
He complained about the unauthorized development of structures in the district. According to him, fuel stations are springing up in residential areas and posing a danger to residents. Mr. Zakaria noted that a Micro-finance and Small Loans Scheme, MASLOC, has been established in the district and appealed to assembly members to encourage their electorate to form viable groups and co-operatives to facilitate access to credit from the scheme.
The Presiding Member of the Central Gonja District Assembly, Ibrahim Abudu said the recent floods and religious and chieftaincy disputes have drained the scarce resources of the assembly.