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18.11.2005 Regional News

Timber firm degrades environment in Gomoa West

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Gomoa-Ohua (C/R), Nov. 18, GNA - Pockets of forest reserves which contribute to periodic rainfall in the Gomoa West area of the Central Region have been virtually destroyed by timber contractors operating in the area.

More than 500 timber trees made up of Wawa, Odum, Odanta, Onyina and Kyenkyen species had been felled by the contractors who started operating in the area bout two months ago.

Disclosing this to the Ghana News Agency at Gomoa Ohua on Wednesday November 16 2005, Mr Justice K. Ansah, an opinion leader said the most dangerous aspect of the issue was that the contractors operating in the affected communities were using the names of top government officials as a cover to fell the trees.

Mr. Ansah said he personally went round the affected forest reserves with a camera and countered more than 500 trees, which had been felled by the contractors.

He said investigations he conducted revealed that the contractors paid only 20,000 cedis per tree to the affected farmers whose crops were destroyed in the course of their operations. Mr. Ansah said considering the erratic rainfall pattern, which had bedevilled the people of the Gomoa District for many years, it was painful to note that certain individuals would indulge in acts that tended to worsen the plight of Gomoa people, especially poor farmers in the area.

Mr. Ansah had therefore appealed to the government to set up a high-powered fact finding committee to investigate the issue as a matter of urgency. He suggested that, even before such committee was appointed, government should initiate steps to stop the contractors from operating in order to save the affected forest reserves from further degradation.

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