The Ghana National Fire Service in the Western Region has organised an Anti-Bush Campaign to inform and educate the public on bushfire and its effects.
The programme was held on the theme “Our Future. Depending sustaining the environment, let us prevent Bushfire”.
Dr Kwaku Afriyie Western regional Minister in speech read on his behalf said Bushfires had become an annual routine in the country especially during the Harmattan season and caused loss to large tracks of Forest and Farmlands, destroying crops, human lives and animal species and contributed significantly in losing one third of the country’s Forest cover.
Bushfires are mostly caused by activities like; hunting, palm wine tapping, cooking in the Farm, Charcoal production, Honey harvesting and throwing of cigarette pieces.
He said the destruction of Forest cover as well as economic trees like Cocoa, Oil palm, Medicinal plants which were major economic livelihood mostly for the people in the rural areas was worrying.
According to him, it was estimated that the country lost $210 million to bushfire every year ,which is equivalent to 3 per cent of the National Gross Domestic Product(GDP).
He added that, sustaining the environment would improve the socio-economic status of the citizen especially in the rural areas and advised the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to create Sub-Committees in the various offices on bushfire prevention as enshrined in the PNDC Law 229 and also support the Fire Volunteers with adequate logistics and motivational packages.
ACOF Emmanuel Quao, the Regional Fire Commander said the command had trained 1,272 fire volunteers from January 2017 to November 2018 and given uniforms, cutlass and safety boot for their work.
He encouraged the public to take safety precautions on fire handling and avoid preventable fires.