Jacobu (Ash), April 11, GNA - Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, on Friday emphasized the need for Ghanaians to assist in the protection of the nation's forests. "We used to have about eight million hectares of forest but now we have just 1.8 million hectares and so we have to protect our forests", he stressed.
The Regional Minister made the call at the Amansie Central District People's Assembly held at Jacobu in reacting to a concern raised at the forum.
A participant had stated that the forest reserve at Numereso was being encroached upon leading to its depletion and suggested that part of the forest should be given to the farmers in the area so that as they farmed, they planted the trees to replace the depleted ones. Mr Boafo said people knew those illegally destroying the forest but nobody was prepared to expose them and yet should somebody be caught, "you will see the number of people who will come to plead with the District Chief Executive".
The Regional Minister said it was important to guard against such activities that were destroying the nation's forests since its depletion would have serious health consequences on the very lives of the people. Responding to another question on model senior secondary schools, Mr Boafo pointed out that it was the policy of the government to give each district one model senior secondary school.
He said since Jacobu used to be part of Amansie East District when the initial implementation of the policy started the Bekwai SDA Secondary School was selected for the programme and therefore gave the assurance that now that Amansie Central was a district on its own it would benefit from the policy.
"Now that yours is a new district, the Jacobu Secondary/Technical School will be upgraded under the second phase of the programme", the Regional Minister said.
Mr Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi, Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, announced that the government had voted a substantial amount for the Youth In Employment Programme and assured the people that all the youth in the communities would benefit in phases. He said efforts were being made to secure 860 low-tension poles to assist in the extension of electricity to a number of communities in the District.
On the poor road network in the District, the MP said as a result of the situation, many farmers and traders in the District now transacted business in Obuasi, thereby affecting the revenue generation of the new district. He said efforts were, however being made to get the Jacobu-Fiankoma-Mile Nine road rehabilitated to address the situation. Mr Kwame Asamoah-Boateng, Amansie Central District Chief Executive in his welcome address said the People's Assembly concept was an innovation by the NPP government to further strengthen good governance in the country. 11 April 06