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24.01.2005 General News

Ban on chainsaw operation is still in force

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Akim-Ayeribi (E/R), Jan. 24, GNA - The Forestry Commission has reminded chainsaw operators that Legislative Instrument (LI 1721), which banned the use of chainsaw lumber was still in force and that persons who flout it would face prosecution.

The Kade District Customer Service Forestry Officer, Mr William Koranteng, who gave the reminder, however, said chainsaw operators could use their machines for other purposes such as felling trees for firewood.

Mr Koranteng, who was inaugurating the Birim North District Association of Chainsaw Operators at Akim Ayirebi on Monday, told them to register all their machines, saying failure could lead to the machines being confiscated.

He said, hitherto, chainsaw operators were being given permit to fell some trees but it was later found out that they were abusing the opportunity and exploiting the situation to violate the law. The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ofoase/Ayirebi, Mr David Oppon-Kusi, however, appealed to the government and other stakeholders in the timber industry to take a second look at LI 1721 to enable chainsaw operators to resume business.

According to him, the law was not "healthy" for the economy and appealed to the Forestry Commission to sit down with the operators to review the ban.

Mr Oppon-Kusi argued that at a time when chainsaw operations were banned, a lot of sawn lumber could be seen on the market. Mr Stephen Gbeve, a member of the Akim Oda Wood Sellers Association, said the ban on chainsaw operations was throwing them out of business since the saw millers were not given the local market.

Mr Kwame Danquah, Birim South District Forest Secretary, advised chainsaw operators to lead in the efforts towards forest sustainability by encouraging tree planting.

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