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26.02.2009 Business & Finance

Domestic wood traders call for review of legislation on chain saw operation


The Domestic Lumber Traders Association of Ghana (DOLTAG) had appealed to the government to review the law banning chain saw operation of lumber as it promotes corruption rather than bring sanity into the wood industry.

The association noted that despite the ban, which was enforced in 1989 the local market was flooded with about 85 percent of lumber felled by chain saw operators instead of lumber felled by registered timber companies as required by law.

Addressing a press conference at Ashaiman on Wednesday to express their concern about the harm caused by the ban to the economy, Mr Victor Nyadi, National Chairman of the DOLTAG described the legislative instrument (LI) of 1649 banning the chain saw operation as “fundamentally discriminatory and thus do not give equal opportunities to all citizens”.

Supported by his national executive members, Mr Nyadi explained that while chain saw operators feed the local market with quality wood, the timber companies whom the law favours export the quality wood and rather stock the local market with the inferior wood products.

“That is why often some wood products such as furniture sold on the local market do not last longer”.

To avoid corruption and unfair trade practices, the national chairman appealed to the government to lift the ban on chain saw operation promising that efforts would be made to re-plant the felled trees in the forest.

He assured that the DOLTAG in collaboration with the Forestry department and all other related agencies would embark on national afforestation programme to prevent depletion of the forest.

Presently, Mr Nyadi said the Ashanti regional branch of the DOLTAG has cultivated about 500 hectors of afforestation, another 69 hectors in the Eastern region and else where in the country.

He alleged that while the DOLTAG embarks on afforestation programme, the timber companies only fells the trees without considering re-planting as they were only interested in their business regardless of what happens to the environment.

Mr Nyadi noted that activities of the over 70,000 members contribute significantly to the economic growth of the country and urged the government to take bold steps to create the conducive working environment for their operation.

Wondering why in spite of the ban the market was still flooded with chain saw lumber instead of those from the Timber companies, the executive members explained that arrest could only be made on the farm when felling was in progress or whiles transporting them but as soon as they reached the market no one could make any arrest.

Therefore to them, corruption starts from the forest during the felling of the trees and on the way as it passes through security spots.