The Savannah Regional House of Chiefs, has called for an all-hands-on-deck approach to win the fight against illegal mining, popularly called ‘galamsey’, illegal logging and burning of charcoal in commercial quantities and their devastating impact on the environment.
According to them the level of destruction caused by these menace required an inclusiveness approach coupled with the needed leadership from Government and effective policies to tackle their root causes.
“With leadership and proper policies, we can repair many of the damages of these menace. Many of us have shed tears of anger and frustration because some of the destruction caused in most cases is irreversible.
“We cut medicinal plants and trees in our tropical forest and send them into extinction before we can discover the life-saving features it may hold. Let us stop it. It has to take all hands-on deck approach,” the Regional House of Chiefs said.
The House of Chiefs made the call at a press conference held at Damongo on May, 10, 2021, on the ban on illegal logging activities, illegal mining and burning of charcoal in commercial quantities.
Hon. Saaed Muhazu Jibril, Savannah Regional Minister speaking during the press conference expressed gratitude to the House of Chiefs for relentless efforts in ensuring that these illegal activities are nip into the bud.
According to him, the efforts of the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs is worth emulating in the fight against environmental degradation in the in the country.
Hon. Jibril assured the Chiefs of government full support in making sure that these illegal activities in the region are brought to a halt by supporting them in all spheres as far as the fight against these illegal activities is concerned.
He commended all the chiefs in the various paramountcys for forming taskforces to combat the destruction of the environment in the Region.
Hon. Jibril told the gathering that a barrack will soon be opened at Damongo for the deployment of 1,200 to help in the fight against criminal activities in the Region.
According to him, the coming of the soldiers will support the fight against activities of galamseyers, including the protection of water bodies in as they would be called upon when the need arises.
Buipewura Abdulai Jinapor II, vice President of the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs in a speech re-echoed that the ban on commercial charcoal burning takes effect on May, 10, 2021, and tasked all chiefs to communicate the message to their people as anyone caught would not be left off the hook.
He however expressed disappointment at the media as he said they have failed to communicate effectively to the people in the region on date placed on the ban of burning Charcoal for commercial purposes.
Bolewura Sarfo Kutugefeso l, chairman of the taskforce instituted by the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs addressing the press indicated that the chiefs in the Region remain resolute in the fight against these illegal activities to safeguard the environment against degradation.
According to him the ban on illegal logging, commercial charcoal burning, commercial fuel wood harvesting and illegal small scale mining activities in the Savannah Region effective 10th May, 2021 have been banned.
He added that any carriage of charcoal, logs and fuel wood in commercial quantities after 10th of May, 2021 out of the Savannah Region will attract penalties. Every bag of charcoal will attract GHS 5.00 penalty charge per bag. A container of logs will attract GHS 5000.00 penalty charge while a vehicle carrying the products will attract GHS 1000.00 penalty charge.
He also indicated that the ban on illegal logging, commercial charcoal burning, commercial fuel wood harvesting and illegal small scale mining activities will completely come to a close on 30th May, 2021in the Savannah Region and after 30th of May, 2021, any carriage of goods of such products shall be confiscated and off loaded at a defined dumping ground.
Bolewura encouraged the youth to take advantage of government’s planting for food and jobs program, green Ghana or arbor day program of government and agriculture with vast lands in the Savannah Region whiles the House of Chiefs put a livelihood project together to support the situation.
The military detachment in the Region equally praised the House of Chiefs for the bold steps taken in making sure that these illegal activities are conquered and also assured them of their readiness in making sure that the region wins the battle against these illegal activities which are deteriorating the forest cover of the land.