Savannah Regional Minister, Hon Adam Salifu Braimah, has inaugurated a 17 – member committee whose work is to find eradicate the menace of illegal logging and excessive charcoal burning in the Region.
The committee is to be chaired by a member of the Gonja Traditional Council, Tejepewura Saaka Sadik Bonyaso I, with Dr. Musah Mordzer Ibrahim Ekpampo of the University for Development Studies acting as Secretary.
The rest of the committee’s membership are drawn from the Civil Service, Security Services, Forestry Commission, NGOs & CSOs, leadership of youth groups, the traditional council and academia. All MMDCEs in the region have also been made automatic members of the committee.
At a swearing-in ceremony in Damongo, Hon. Braimah charged the committee to be conscious of their mandate which he said should be executed with diligence and without fear or favour.
The Savanna Region has had to battle to desertification in recent years as the few forest reserves in the area have been depleted due to the activities of illegal logging and rampant burning of charcoal. A huge outcry and predictions of doom from environmentalists has forced the regional coordinating council to act with the formation of the 17-member committee among some of the measures adopted to end the canker.
Tejepewura Saaka Sadik Bonyanso (I) in a speech assured the regional minister of memebers commitment to the core mandate of the committee which is to curb all activities which pose threats to the environment and the people.
Tejepewura Bonyanso also assured the committee of the support of the Gonja Traditional Council, saying the council which he represented was aware of the destruction caused by illegal logging and burning of charcoal to environment.
Committee’s Secretary and Lecturer at UDS commended the Minister for his foresight, saying the creation of the committee was in the in right direction.
Dr. Musah Ibrahim issued a rallying call to all persons in the area to come on board and support the work of the committee to help ascertain a region free of all destructive tendencies against the environment.
WORK OF INITIAL COMMITTEE ON ILLEGAL LOGGING
In November last year, a nine – member committee was formed by Hon. Braimah shortly after he became the regional Minister with the mandate of investigating factors that threatened efforts by authorities to deal effectively with the menace of deforestation.
The committee which was chaired by Alhaji Sadique Bakari Nyari concluded its work and one of the findings upon submission to the regional minister recommended the setting up of a committee to fight the menace.
Alhaji Nyari’s committee also recommended a total ban in compliance with National directives on rosewood exportation and the regulation of charcoal burning activities in the region.
The committee again recommended afforestation in the affected areas with the involvement of members of the affected communities for the land to be safeguarded.
Alhaji Nyari’s committee also recommended public sensitization across the Districts and Municipal Assemblies in the Region of the adverse effects of illegal logging.
The mandate of the latest committee is well cutout as they will look to study and implement the recommendation of Nyari’s committee and as well rally concerted efforts aimed at fighting desertification and safeguarding the environment.
Report by Abdul Aziz Ezekiel/ntvghana.com