Home News 615 cases of bushfires recorded in Ghana between January and September, 2023 

615 cases of bushfires recorded in Ghana between January and September, 2023 

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Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO, Mr James Owusu Agyei, the Director of Rural Fires of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), has revealed that the country has recorded 615 cases of bushfires between the January and September, 2023. 

In a speech read on his behalf, he said the number was undoubtedly expected to rise going into the fire season.

DCFO Agyei lamented that since 2020, the country had recorded a total number of 3,553 bushfires despite measures put in place by the GNFS to sustain and create awareness of the public on the impact of bushfires on businesses, economy and livelihood of affected people.

He revealed this at a two-day training of trainers workshop on community-based management, organised by the Forum for Natural Regeneration (FONAR) for selected personnel of the rural fires departments of the Nabdam and Talensi districts.

FONAR is a Ghanaian environmentally focused non-governmental organisation that promotes ecological restoration, especially on degraded lands for improved livelihoods and poverty reduction among rural subsistence smallholder farmers.

The workshop, which formed part of FONAR`s community bushfires management activities in the Nabdam and Talensi Districts aimed at introducing the regional and select district personnel of the rural fires departments of the GNFS in the Upper East Region to  community-based fire management concept and principles.

It also aimed at strengthening the capacity of the personnel to deliver on their mandate and support FONAR`s community bushfire activities in the Nabdam and Talensi districts.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer One (ACFO 1), Mr Anthony Gyasi Boateng, Upper East Regional Fire Commander of the GNFS acknowledged that the Service collaboration with FONAR over the last year had paid dividends such as joint community durbars, public education and capacity building.

He said the fight against bushfires required inter-agency collaboration and FONAR was not only doing that but was also researching and devising modern ways of controlling bushfires to reduce its negative impact on lives and properties.

Mr Sumaila S. Saaka, the Executive Director of FONAR noted that though Ghana had a good policy on bushfire, the law that was supposed to support the policy to be effective was outdated given the current trends.

“The law is punitive, criminalises and as a result it is difficult to implement it, thus the PNDC Law 229 and so, is time we revise the law to conform with the current wildfire policy objectives,” he stated.

The Executive Director asserted that Ghana was likely to encounter more bushfires into the future and called on the government to resource agencies like the GNFS responsible for managing bushfires to be able to implement very good aspects of the current law and bushfire policies.

Mr Saaka said his outfit was committed to working with other agencies including the GNFS to educate communities about the impact of bushfires and how they could manage bushfires from becoming disastrous.

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