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21.01.2004 Regional News

Chakala area gets anti-bushfire squad

By GNA
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Motigu, (U/W), Jan. 20 GNA - A call has been made to traditional rulers to lend their full support to efforts by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Environmental Protection Agency and other stakeholders to reduce to the barest minimum, the annual ritual of bushfires. This is because bushfire has been identified as inhibiting efforts at rural poverty reduction as it destroys farm produce, homes and sometimes results in the loss of lives.

Mr Godfrey Bayong Tangu, Wa Municipal Chief Executive, said this when he inaugurated a 90-member anti bushfire volunteer squad for four farming communities in the Chakala area of the Wa Municipality at Motigu on Monday.

The volunteers including 10 women had undergone a three-day intensive basic training in bushfire prevention, control and bushfire fighting by the GNFS with the Wa Municipal Assembly providing the logistic support.

The volunteers, who were provided with a pair of Wellington boots each and one machete were also issued with identity cards that empower them to apprehend bushfire offenders.

Among other duties, the squad members would assist farmers in the clearing of their farms as part of measures to minimise the incidence of bushfires.

The four farming communities are Motigu, Tuasa, Bulenga and Dusie. Mr Tangu urged Ghanaians to strive to do away with the annual ritual of bushfires, reminding Ghanaians of the trauma that could be caused to a farmer losing his investments to bushfires.

He said farmers in the North should take the anti bushfire campaign seriously, as the Region had only one farming season in a year.

Mr Samuel Baba Iddi, Wa Municipal Fire Officer, announced that between November 1 December 31, 2003, the district recorded 331 bushfires and said it was a sad reflection of how people ignored advice. 20 Jan. 04

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