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23.10.2004 Regional News

Chief expresses concern about illegal chain-saw operations

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Manfo (Ash), Oct 23, GNA - Nana Kwame Ntim II, Omanhene of the Manfo Traditional Area in the Ashanti region, has called on the people to be vigilant in checking the activities of chain-saw operators and the indiscriminate felling of trees in the area. Nana Ntim, who was addressing a people's forum at Manfo near Tepa on Friday, stressed the need to protect the environment for posterity. He noted that recently four people between the ages of 15 and 25 years lost their lives in a lorry accident while conveying sawn timber from Subriso to Kumasi.

The Omanhene appealed to Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs), School Management Committees and the District Directorate of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to help raise the standard of education in the area to reverse the poor academic performance especially at the basic level.

He commended the government for re-introducing mass cocoa spraying exercise against the black pod disease and called for equal attention for the fight against the capsid to improve production. Nana Ntim advised the people against expensive funerals and asked them to rather invest their resources in viable ventures to improve their living conditions.

He appealed to the government to rehabilitate roads in the area to facilitate the transportation of foodstuff and the people. The Omanhene urged political parties against insults and to conduct their electioneering campaign to ensure a peaceful, free and fair elections in December 2004.

Nana Ntim commended Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, for his efforts to raise the level of education and called on traditional leaders, individuals, Churches and organisations to support the country's manpower development.

Mr Kwasi Adu Poku, District Chief Executive for Ahafo Ano North, said efforts were being made by the Assembly and the government to provide infrastructure like school blocks, health centres and toilet facilities to improve the living conditions of the people. He stated that the falling standard of education could be attributed to the irresponsible behaviour of some parents and asked them to provide the basic needs of their children to enhance teaching and learning.

Mr Kwame Owusu Frempong, MP for the area, said efforts were being made by stakeholders including the Parliamentary Sub-Committee of Lands and Forestry to address the problem of illegal chain-saw operations. Mr Matthew D. Gbaarah, Assistant Director of Education in-charge of the District, attributed the low educational standard to indiscipline, lack of teachers and teaching aids and the inability of parents to provide their wards with their basic needs. He suggested to the Traditional Council to sponsor more people to the teacher training colleges to return to teach in the area after the completion of their course.

During an open forum, the people suggested that a special task force should be formed to support staff of the Forestry Services Division to help curb the activities of illegal chain-saw operators.

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