The Savannah Regional House of Chiefs had through a communique to the Regional Minister, Hon. Muhazu Jibril said that the continuous destruction of the environment is self-inflicted and must be halted.
According to the Chiefs illegal logging, commercial charcoal burning, commercial fuel wood harvesting and illegal small scale mining activities in the Savannah Region have become a bane on the citizenry of the Region.
These activities they said have resulted in the wanton depletion of the environmental cover.
The Chiefs argued that a survey conducted in five paramountcies revealed that about 1,042,580 trees are destroyed within a year. These tree plants lost include but not limited to the Shea, the Dawadawa, the rosewood, the kapok trees and other medicinal and economic trees in the wild, are harvested with impunity.
The data therefore points out that within a year among the 21 paramountcies in the Region loses about 21,894,180 trees in a year,they added.
The Savannah Regional House of Chiefs, based on the destruction caused to the environment by people who engaged in these illegal acts have therefore resolved to take punitive measures against those involved in these illegal activities.
Read in details the communique issued by the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs and signed by Bolewura Sarfo Kutuge Feso (l) below;
SAVANNAH REGION HOUSE OF CHIEFS COMMUNIQUE ON ILLEGAL LOGGING, COMMERCIAL CHARCOAL BURNING, COMMERCIAL FUEL WOOD HARVESTING AND ILLEGAL MINING ACTIVITIES IN THE SAVANNAH REGION ON 28TH APRIL,2021.
THE HONOURABLE REGIONAL MINISTER OF THE SAVANNAH REGION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA
Illegal logging, commercial charcoal burning, commercial fuel wood harvesting and illegal small scale mining activities in the Savannah Region have become a bane on the citizenry of the Region. These activities have resulted in the wanton depletion of the environmental cover. A survey conducted in five paramountcies revealed that about 1,042,580 trees are destroyed within a year. These tree plants lost include but not limited to the Shea, the Dawadawa, the rosewood, the kapok trees and other medicinal and economic trees in the wild, are harvested with impunity. The data therefore points out that within a year among the 21 paramountcies in the Region loses about 21,894,180 trees in a year. Should we as a people sit and watch the destruction of the environmental cover to continue?
It is in this regard the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs resolved on the following;
1). That, commercial charcoal burning, illegal logging, commercial harvesting of fuel wood and illegal small scale mining activities in the Savannah Region have been banned effective Monday, 10th May, 2021.
2). That after 10th of May, 2021 through to 30th of May, 2021 any truck or vehicle conveying charcoal from the Savannah Region and lands of Savannah Region lying outside the Region will attract a penalty of five Ghana Cedis only per bag of charcoal.
3). That any vehicle after the 10th of May 2021 to the 30th of May 2021 conveying logs from the Savannah Region or from lands of Savannah Region lying outside the Region will attract five thousand Ghana Cedis penalty per load.
4). That any vehicle conveying logs or charcoal after 10th of May, 2021 will attract One thousand Ghana Cedis only for making available the vehicle for conveyance.
5). That the taskforce shall comprise chiefs, Assemblies, Forestry Commission unit and the Security in the Region.
6). That every paramount chief should as a matter of urgency form a taskforce in line with the composition of the taskforce spelt out in this communique in his jurisdiction to support the ban to achieve its set goals and report same to the Regional House of Chiefs.
7). That there should be an Inter-Regional Ministerial dialogue among Ministers of the Savannah Region, Upper West Region and Bono-East Region on the implementation plan and to solicit their support for effective implementation of the plan.
8). That Tuluwewura Paramount chief of the Tuluwe division of Gonja should duly communicate to all Gonja communities outside the Region about the full force of this ban and act concurrently with the ban.
9). The following sanctions are charged on culprits or defaulters of the ban;
a), first time offender if a chief shall be suspended indefinitely.
b), Where the chief is involved in such an illegality the second time, shall be dismissed from the skin or stool as a chief.
c), any product found related to this matter pursuant to the ban shall be confiscated and the product disposed off in smaller quantities domestically.
d), proceeds accruing from the confiscated materials shall be lodged with the Regional House of Chiefs.
10). That the Regional taskforce including two chiefs shall be the monitoring taskforce monitoring all the activities of the ban and thereby reporting accordingly to the key stakeholders.
11). That the following exit points following the ban shall continue to ensure that these products never find their way out. These exits points include; Buipe, Bamboi, Mankango, Kpembe, Sankpala, Jama and Mankarigu.
12). That any paramount chief in his jurisdiction with his taskforce who might have caused a confiscation of charcoal or logs materials will lodge 70% of the proceeds with the paramountcy and the taskforce and thereby lodge 30% of the proceeds to the Regional House of Chiefs.
13). That at any exit points, the paramount chief and his taskforce if they confiscate charcoal or logs materials shall lodge with the paramountcy with its taskforce 60% of the proceeds and lodge 40% of proceeds to the Regional House of Chiefs.
14). That the Bolewura Sarfo Kutugefeso committee is permanent on matters of environmental issues that will affect negatively the Savannah Region and its lands lying outside the region. The committee therefore have oversight responsibility to the ban completely.
15). That the Bolewura Sarfo Kutugefeso committee in due course will submit a tentative report on small scale mining activities in the Region and also prescribe strategy to address matters of chainsaw and sawmilling operations in the Region to fully streamline the industry’s activities to conform with the laws of the Republic of Ghana.
16). That the ban on illegal logging, commercial charcoal burning and commercial fuel wood harvesting in the Savannah Region and all its accompanying matters will come to a complete ban on Sunday 30th of May, 2021. Any other transaction on these matters without following the appropriate process shall not be allowed and or valid in the Savannah Region
17). A stakeholder consultative meeting be carried out to iron out livelihood matters that must have arisen as a result of this outright ban. However, all actors are encouraged to take advantage of the government policies i.e. planting for food and jobs already rolled out to reduce the impact of any dislocation and/or destabilization the ban might have caused.
SARFO KUTUGE FESO I
PARAMOUNT CHIEF OF BOLE