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11.07.2005 Regional News

Check depletion of Wawashie Forest Reserve - Jamra Chief

GNA

Breman Jamra, (C/R), July 11, GNA - Nana Tutu, Chief of Breman Jamra in the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District has appealed to the Ministry of Lands and Forestry to help check the rampant felling of trees by Chain Saw Operators at the Wawashie Forest Reserve at Breman Jamra. Nana Tutu, Chief of Breman Jamra speaking at a news conference on Sunday at Jamra, said if the Ministry delayed to intervene to stop the activities of chain saw operators the Reserve would be depleted in the very near future.

According to Nana Tutu more than half of the Reserve had been depleted, adding that, a roadblock had been mounted on the road leading to the forest to check the activities of illegal chain saw operators in the area.

He said the chain saw operators had evacuated loads of sawn lumber every day from the reserve, saying, "The Security agencies, forest officers and guards look on unconcerned".

The Chief of Jamra stated that some of the men he had detailed to protect the forest informed him of the activities of some chainsaw operators who had piled large quantity of lumber in the Reserve and quickly sent a message to the guards and officers at Asikuma and Assin Fosu to look for tractors to convey the wood to Police Station failed to do so.

According to Nana Tutu the chainsaw operators and lumber dealers evacuated the wood from the forest.

He stated that chain saw operators and timber dealers from Kasoa and Agona Swedru had "besieged" the town because the Chiefs and the people were fighting a losing battle because a Forest Guard was staying with a chainsaw operator in the same house.

The Chief stated that the Forest Guard had not reported the activities of the chain saw operators to the security agencies. He appealed to the Forestry Commission to supply tree seedlings to the people for their forestation programme to replace felled trees. Nana Tutu suggested to the government to borrow from World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors to replant the depleted forests. He appealed to the Ministry to expedite action to curb illegal tree felling at the Reserve.

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