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23.01.2006 Crime & Punishment

Farmer jailed for starting bushfire

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Sunyani, Jan. 23, GNA - A circuit court at Berekum has sentenced a 48 year-old farmer to nine months imprisonment for setting fire in a forest reserve.

Anthony Ferka, the farmer, is to pay a fine of two million cedis after serving the sentence.

Mr Attah Ameyaw, Brong Ahafo Regional Coordinator of the Rural Fire Department told the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani that the farmer was arrested by fire volunteers whilst setting fire and was handed over to personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service at Berekum. He said Ferka admitted the offence and was arraigned before the court.

The Regional Fire Service is investigating the cases of five other farmers arrested by the fire volunteers at Fiapre for committing similar offence, he said, adding that they would be made to face the full rigors of the law.

Mr Ameyaw warned the public that the ban on fir setting in the bush was in force, saying any one caught in the act would be arrested and prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others. He said measures were being put in place to ensure that the Region did not experience any bush fires during this year's dry season. The Service, in collaboration with the Regional Coordinating Council has instituted a task force comprising personnel from the police and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) to enforce the anti-bush fire laws.

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