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07.02.2014 General News

Fire Whelms Yaya Forest Reserve

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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Date published: February 7, 2014
From Michael Boateng, Ayigbe
Fire has destroyed over a thousand acres of timber, cocoa and teak plantations running millions of Ghana Cedis at the Yaya Forest Reserve at Ayigbe, a village in the Wenchi Municipality.

A visit by the Brong-Ahafo Regional Anti-Bushfire Committee to the forest on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, revealed that the fire had consumed the greater part of the reserve.

Large acres of food stuffs and crops comprising maize, yam and cassava plantations, which have been cultivated on the fringes of the forest, had also been destroyed by the fire.

The Chronicle gathered that attempts by the local fire volunteers and officials from the Ghana National Fire service to extinguish the fire were not successful.

According to the local fire volunteers in the area, lack of protective gears such as Wellington boots and other logistics impeded an entry into the reserves to quench the raging fire.

Assistant Divisional Officer (ADOII) Prince Baffour Gyan, Brong-Ahafo Regional Rural Fire Coordinator said the cause of the fire was not yet known but suspected that it might be due to     activities of the local charcoal burners.

Mr. Baffour Gyan expressed concern about lack of logistics and funds for the regional and the various district anti-bushfire committees, which had made the committee dormant especially at the local levels.

He said the Provisional National Defence Council Law (PNDCL 229) mandates Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to establish and fund anti bushfire committees but the assemblies had failed to comply.

Mr. Baffour Gyan appealed to the various assemblies to support the existing local anti bushfire committees in the discharge of their duties to curb fire outbreaks. He disclosed that the region recorded 275 rural fires in the last harmattan season.

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