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26.01.2005 Regional News

110 Community Forest Management Committees hold Workshop

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Winneba (C/R), Jan. 26, GNA - The Winneba District Forest Division of the Forest Services Commission (FSC) on Tuesday organized a day's workshop on fire fighting for about 110 Community Forest Management Committees (CFC) from the nine surrounding communities of the Yenku Forest Reserve in the Gomoa District. The communities are Gomoa Asebu, Bewadze, Gomoa Lome, Onyadze and Gomoa Oguaa.

The rest are Gomoa Dahom, Gomoa Amaafi, Mankoadze and Otse Jukwa. The workshop, which was also attended by chiefs, farmers, assembly members and unity committees of the various communities, was aimed among others at helping to prevent fire outbreaks at the reserve, that had been destroyed by periodic fire outbreaks in the area. It was under the theme "Developing Community Based Action Plan to control wild fire in Winneba District".

Taking participants through Topics including Conduction, Convection, and Radiation, the Awutu Effutu-Senya District Fire Officer, Mr Bartholomew Nketiah recounted the harmful effects of fire to the environment and humanity.

Mr Nketiah expressed concern about the increasing number of indiscriminate bushing burning in the area and said that though it has not caused much damage to properties and farms, the practice was not good and must be stopped.

He charged the participants to report offenders to the police or his office to face the law.

Mr Richard Gyase Amoah, the Winneba District Fire Officer said that the vast plantation of Eclitus trees planted in the forest reserve some years back had been destroyed by fire and appealed to the people in the area to assist the government in its efforts to replant and protect the reserve.

Mr Amoah told the participants to help educate the people of their communities on the danger of fire and the need to save the forest. Mr Osei Owusu of the Resource Management Service Centre (RMSC) of the Forest Service Division in Kumasi assisted the communities, who attended the workshop to prepare action plans that would held prevent fire outbreak in their various communities.

He cautioned Ghanaians to take queue in the 1983 fire outbreaks in the country that brought hunger and a lot of problems in the country and therefore must do everything possible to prevent its recurrence. Nana Kwaa Prah VI, Chief of Gomoa Dahom, who chaired the function appealed to chiefs in the area to play a meaningful role in the protection of the forest because the livelihood of their people depended of it.

He appealed to the courts to deal drastically with people who deliberately set fire into the bush in their attempts to catch game because the current meager fines imposed on them do not deter them.

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