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02.02.2006 Regional News

Traditional authorities charged to educate children on bush fire

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Tanoboase (B/A), Feb. 2, GNA - Mr Prince Yaw Donyina, Techiman Municipal Chief Executive has expressed concern over the wanton destruction of vegetation in the municipality through hunting and charged unit committees, Assembly Members and traditional authorities to educate the people on the effects of bushfires on the ecology. He said the Municipal Assembly's by-laws on environmental protection and ban on bush hunting, as well as the use of naked fire on their farms and work places were still in force.

Mr Donyina was speaking at the launch of the 2005-2006 anti-bush-fire campaign at Tanoboase in the municipality. The launch coincided with the inauguration of a 46-member anti-bush-fire volunteer squad for Tanoboase and Mesidan, who received three weeks intensive training in anti-bush-fire fighting techniques. Mr Donyina called on chiefs to help prevent and fight bush-fires in their areas in the same manner as they struggle to protect their land boundaries.

The MCE said the Assembly and the government were doing everything possible to motivate fire volunteers to protect the environment, especially at tourist sites to help generate enough revenue for accelerated development.

He warned that anybody, who would impede the activities of fire volunteers, should be reported to the authorities for action to be taken against them.

Mr Thomas Tuffour, Techiman Municipal Fire Officer, asked parents to educate their children on the dangers of fire, emphasising that, the setting of bush fires should by no means be regarded as a ritual in the dry season.

He said 32 fire accidents occurred in the municipality last year, 11 being bush fires, 12 domestic and seven involving vehicles, adding, six out of the figure were set by children and called for measures to curb bush burning by farmers, hunters and all other persons. Mr Kwabena Darko, Techiman Municipal Coordinator of NADMO, said those, who set fire indiscriminately, were liable for prosecution, since the municipal by-laws on environmental protection still stand. He advised the people to be more careful with fire and urged parents and farmers to prepare their food at home before leaving for their farms and also to refrain from carrying boxes of matches to their farms.

Nana Effah Boakye, chairman of the Municipal Anti-bush fire squad, asked the Assembly to support fire volunteer squads to help fight outbreak of fires and appealed for early campaigns against bush fires. He asked the fire volunteers not to use their identity cards to cheat farmers but to protect lives and properties.