GNFS LAUNCHES 2015/2016 BUSHFIRE PREVENTION CAMPAIGN

The 2015/16 Bushfire Prevention Campaign was launched on Thursday, 17th December, 2015 at Agona Nyakrom a farming community in the Central Region under the theme “SUSTAINING THE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH BUSHFIRE PREVENTION”.

The Deputy Central Regional Minister Hon. Queenstar Pokua Sawyer who read the Keynote address on behalf of the President, said human activities like bush burning by farmers for crop cultivation, and by hunters for bush meat, has led to the continuous devastation of the forest. This she said has led to the extinction of certain species of animals we used to see some twenty to thirty years back.

She added that the consistent burning of the forest has other consequential effects which include the depletion of the forest cover which eventually leads to rain and wind erosion of the top soil.

According to the Deputy Minister, the difficulties we have had to grapple with in our effort to eliminate bushfires is that there is very little or no research and information concerning the frequency, intensity, duration, and effects of bushfire on the environment and the way it affects the welfare of the Citizenry. This means there is no clear understanding of the causes and effects of bushfires in the country.

She therefore, called on the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) to collaborate and pull resources together to train more Fire Volunteers across the length and breadth of the Country in order to help control and prevent bushfires.

The Chief Fire Officer, Dr. Albert Brown Gaisie, in his address referred to bush burning as an “annual ritual” which is damaging the ecosystem in Ghana.

Chief Fire Officer also said in 2013/2014 the Fire Service recorded Five Hundred and Forty-Eight (548) Bushfire outbreaks, resulting in Millions of Ghana Cedis of destruction to Property.

He noted that, the activities of hunters, herdsmen, farmers and cigarette smokers etc are to blame for most uncontrolled and indiscriminate burning of the bush.

Dr. Gaisie indicated that the Fire Service has trained 12,197 Fire Volunteers within the year to help curb and reduce the incidents of bushfires this season and called on corporate Ghana to pull resources together for the bushfire Volunteers to help in sensitizing them.

He further called for a review of the Control and Prevention of Bushfires Act, PNDC Law 229 of 1990 to conform to present circumstances.