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06.08.2005 Regional News

Poisonous trees used for pestles

GNA

Akim-Oda (E/R), Aug. 6, GNA - Large quantities of pestles manufactured from poisonous tree species, which were fell illegally from Essen-Epan Forest Reserve, have been impounded by the Akim Oda District Forestry Services Division (FSD). The poisonous tree species included Yaya, Otie, Bonsamdua and Asanfina.

The Akim Oda District manager of the Forest Service Division (SFD), Mr Thomas Okyere told the Ghana News Agency that on July 28, this year, a forest guard in charge of the reserve, spotted a group of people in the area, loading a Nissan Urvan bus with the pestles. He said the guard raised an alarm and went for re-enforcement only for the people to off-load the pestles and bolted with the empty truck. Mr Okyere said upon careful examination of the pestles, it was discovered that instead of Essa, which is normally used for pestle, the culprits rather used those poisonous trees species in making the pestles.

He appealed to the public to be careful when buying pestles adding that, pestles manufactured from poisonous tree species could lead to heart and kidney diseases among people, who patronize food prepared from them.

The District manager said a report has been made to the Akim Oda Police, who have mounted an intensive search for the culprits, who were believed to have come from Aprokumasi and Mofram in the Birim South District.

He said the culprits who were suspected to have been in such business for some time now might be selling the items in Accra and Akim Oda.

Meanwhile, personnel from the District Health Directorate have inspected the pestles, which were parked at the premises of the District Forestry Office.

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