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08.06.2017 General News

Duayaw Nkwanta Forest Under Threat By Encroachers

Ransford Antwi
News Duayaw Nkwanta Forest Under Threat By Encroachers

The Duayaw Nkwanta Forest in the Tano North District of the Brong Ahafo region is under serious threat by illegal encroachers, Suncity radio has gathered.

A concerned complainant visited Suncity radio to narrate the illegal activities of encroachers in the Duayaw Nkwanta Forest, upon which Suncity radio contacted the relevant stakeholders to verify the authenticity of the information.

Responding to the story, the chief of Duayaw Nkwanta, Nana Boakye Tromo, revealed to Nana Kas on the Suncity radio morning show that indeed the Duayaw Nkwanta Forest has been infiltrated by encroachers who have put the Forest under serious threat through indiscriminate felling of trees.

The Omanhene further indicated that he had information to the effect that some sub-chiefs within the town are complicit in the illegal operation, based on which he has invited some of them for questioning. “It is true, the Forest is under threat,” Nana said. “There are a lot of allegations we are now investigating. There are claims that some of my sub-chiefs are taking money and conspiring with the encroachers to which I have summoned some of those chiefs for questioning,” Nana added. Nana also indicated that he was aware of allegations that some Forestry officials are also complicit in the illegal business.

A particular name of a female Forestry worker was provided as one of such unscrupulous Forestry officers. Nana also revealed that he had information to the effect that party foot soldiers of the NDC were allegedly given access to the forest last December as “Christmas gift”,a claim the NDC party denies.

Speaking to Nana Kas, in response to this development, the DCE of the Tano North assembly, hon. Ernest Kwarteng, corroborated the story of our informant and Nana, expressing regret over what he described as an indiscriminate felling of trees in the forest, stressing that the activities in the forest are “serious.” He wondered why individuals could be given a field day to operate in the forest without control. “Three days today, we walked through the forest and the situation was serious,” he said. “I summoned the district forest officer to my office,” he added.

“According to the forest officer the issue started last year which was an election year. The forest was opened to the foot soldiers of the NDC. So before last year which was an election year, no such problem existed,” he continued.

When the Regional Forestry officer was contacted, he admitted that the Forest has indeed been encroached. He however dismissed the allegation that some forestry officials were complicit in the problem. He bemoaned the inadequate number of forestry officers in the area as a big problem. “We are heavily under-staffed,” he said. “If we had the numbers, we could track and effectively monitor encroachers and bring them to book. But unfortunately we are not enough to prevent such illegal activities,” he added.

Asked about what his office is doing to stop the development, honorable Kwarteng indicated that the matter is a security matter and he wouldn’t want to disclose the strategy being deployed but stated that the matter will be resolved soon.

He however urged all those who have entered the forest illegally to lay down their tools and leave the forest in their own interest.