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17.03.2008 General News

Minister advises residents against bushfires

Minister advises residents against bushfires
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Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives, has advised fire-prone communities in the Dormaa Municipality to take a cue from the recent fire disasters and help prevent future recurrence.

He gave the advice at separate meetings with three communities in the municipality who suffered severe fire damages early this year.

The affected communities were Atesikrom, Agyemankrom and Dabaabi.

At Atesikrom where 14 families lost their entire personal effects to bushfire on February 18, 2008, Mr. Agyemang-Manu, donated blankets, cutlasses, Wellington boots, four bags of rice to each family, maize and plastic buckets, all valued at GH¢ 2,000 to the victims.

He urged the families not to succumb to the trauma but rather gather courage to ensure their early rehabilitation.

The Deputy Minister, who is an aspiring New Patriotic Party parliamentary candidate for Dormaa West constituency, presented similar packages of items to the fire victims at Agyemankrom and Dabaabi.

Mr Agyemang-Manu appealed to the people to handle fire cautiously to avert fire outbreaks.

Residents in the two cocoa growing communities expressed disgust at the negative activities of some Taungya farmers, who they said had diverted from tendering economic trees on the plots allotted and were engaged in acts that could guarantee them perpetual access to the land.

The residents claimed one of the tactics being adopted by some of the farmers was constant burning of the plots to retard the growth of the economic trees into fully-fledged forests.

That, they said, enabled the farmers to cultivate the plots for as long as they wished since the economic trees were not allowed to grow to render the land inaccessible to them.

Both communities therefore appealed to the government to consider the immediate suspension of the Taungya system in the area so that cocoa farms could be protected against bushfires.

Mr Agyemang-Manu assured them he would carry their appeal to the appropriate quarters for redress.

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