Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister of the Interior, on Thursday launched the 2023/2024 National Bush Fire Prevention Campaign and called for the activation of the Bushfire Prevention and Control Act 1990 to deal with those who flout the regulations.
“I call on the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) to give life to the Act. After 33 years of sensitisation and education, defaulters of this law have no more excuse for which they cannot be held responsible for their actions contrary to the law,” he said.
The Minister said a nation that relied heavily on the forest and vegetation for food security, good weather conditions, foreign exchange earnings, health and general wellbeing had no choice but to guard against anything with the potential to destroying such resource for survival.
This year’s campaign, launched at Nsawam-Djankrom, was on the theme: “60 Years of Existence: Bushfire Prevention – Key to Sustaining our Natural Resources and Food Security.”
He expressed the hope that the campaign would inspire patriotism to enable all Ghanaians to collectively protect the forest from bushfires and other negative occurrences.
Mr Julius A. Kuunuor, the Chief Fire Officer, said over the past 60 years, the Service had been committed to safeguarding lives, property and the environment.
The Service recorded a decrease in bushfire cases by 218, representing 27.5 per cent in the first three quarters in 2023 as compared to same period in 2022.
He disclosed that from January to October this year 573 bushfire cases had been recorded as against 791 recorded during same period in 2022.
“We are poised as a Service to strengthen our collaboration with our stakeholders, such as the Forestry Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, National Disaster Management Organisation, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Education, among others, to develop comprehensive strategies for bush fire prevention and management.”
Mr Seth Acheampong, the Eastern Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, said the region, known for its rich biodiversity and agricultural significance, recognised the critical role that bushfire prevention played in the sustainability of natural resources and food security.