Mr Kusi Buadum, the Sunyani West Municipal Chief Executive has warned residents, particularly farmers to be cautious of handling naked fires, as the harmattan sets in.
He emphasized that the Assembly had strengthened it’s anti-bushfire and other bye-laws, saying, culprits of bushfires would be prosecuted and fined or imprisoned or both.
“It is an offence to send and set fires in the farm in this season. The Assembly’s anti-bushfire taskforce has intensified patrols and culprits would not be spared”, Mr Buadum told Journalists at a media briefing at Odumase, the district capital.
He warned palm wine tappers, hunters, and smokers to be cautious and stop taking lighters and matches to farms because those who would be found culpable would be prosecuted as well.
Mr Buadum expressed concern about the influx of Fulani Herdsmen in the area, saying the taskforce was mandated to arrest and confiscate stray animals, particularly cattle and pigs.
The MCE indicated the Assembly would post it’s bye-laws in public notices and intensify public education as well.
“Any person found guilty of breach of any of the bye-laws shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not less than 250 penalty units and not more than 400 penalty units payable to the Sunyani West Municipal Assembly or in default to imprisonment for 90 days or both” Mr Buadum stated.
Divisional Officer Grade Three (DOIII) Richard Oppong, the Sunyani West Municipal Fire Commander explained the command had set up and trained fire volunteers in the local communities to help fight fire outbreaks.
He, however, expressed concern about the lack of logistics and equipment to support the activities of the fire volunteers, and appealed to corporate bodies and the general public to come to their aid.