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23.08.2005 Regional News

Police should deal severely with bush fire offenders- volunteers

GNA

Nkoranza (B/A) Aug. 23 GNA - Fire volunteers in Nkoranza district of Brong Ahafo have blamed the police for the continued incidence of bushfires in the area, saying the peace officers treat cases sent to them with leniency.

The volunteers made the complaint at the close of a two-day training workshop on disaster management at Nkoranza. It was organized by the Farmers Supportive Services and Community Utilities, an NGO based in Wenchi.

Mr. Yaw Asumaning, Vice Chairman of the volunteers at Odumase alleged that the volunteers in the area once arrested some group hunters who set fire to bushes ostensibly to catch game and sent them to the police at Nkoranza who set them free.

The volunteers called on the District Assembly to support them and also to ensure the strict adherence of the by-laws on bushfires by the people in order that they would be able to carry out their activities effectively.

Mr. James Kwabena Appiah-Awuah, District Chief Executive expressed gratitude to the volunteers for their efforts in helping to save the environment from destruction by bushfires.

He announced that the District Assembly would do well to provide them with the necessary assistance and support to ensure the adequate protection of the environment.

The DCE expressed concern about the practice by some unscrupulous people to engage in illegal tree felling and asked the volunteers to check such negative activities and arrest perpetrators. Mr. Appiah-Awuah called on Assembly Members, Unit Committees and traditional rulers to support the activities of local fire volunteers to boost their morale to serve and prevent bushfires.

Mr. Ohemeng Adjei, Project Coordinator of FASCU announced that 10 communities in Nkoranza have been adopted by the Project for study and to find out the people managed disasters, especially prevented bushfires in the areas.

Mr. Adjei named the communities as Dotobaa, Ayerede, Sessiman, Fiema, Boabeng, Dromankuma, Odumase, Sikaa, Senya and Bredi Number One. FASCU would monitor the activities of the people in the communities for three years, the experimental period of the project and would award best communities that would guard themselves against bushfires. Mr. Adjei therefore, urged the volunteers to educate their people to help combat bushfires in the areas and to qualify for the award to enhance the development of their communities.

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