As part of activities earmarked for the 2024 Anti–Bushfire Campaign, the Corporate Affairs & Media Relations Unit (CAMRU) has organized a sensitization and awareness creation program at Damongo in the Savannah Region.
This was done in collaboration with the Forest Services Division (FSD) and with support from the Climate Change Department (CCD). The event took place at the Damongo Community Centre and was attended by members from Damongo, Soalepe, and Bonyanto communities.
Speaking to participants at the event, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for West Gonja, Hon. Musah Kosobaare, entreated them to take the exercise with all seriousness as it is a sure way to help protect the nation’s forest from burning as it happens every year. “We are indeed privileged to have a team come from Accra to sensitize us on bushfire prevention. We did not pay a penny for this exercise to be held in our community so all we have to do is to pay attention to the organisers of the event and practice all the precautionary measures they will advise us to take, to prevent bushfires”, he said.
He welcomed the organising team and expressed his utmost gratitude to them for holding the event in the capital of the Region.
Mrs. Joyce Ofori Kwafo, the Head of the Corporate Affairs & Media Relations Unit, enumerated some causes of bushfires. She expatiated further through posters, and videos in Gonja, Twi, and English languages.
She cautioned that “Anyone who is found to have caused bushfires, will be arrested by Forestry Commission officials prosecuted at the law courts. It could end in the payment of a fine, imprisonment, or both”, she said.
Mrs. Kwafo entreated the participants to protect the forest reserves from bushfires for now and posterity.
During the interactive session, Shaibu Soaley, a participant, touted the program as a very educative one and requested that it should be organized every year, to always keep the communities informed on bushfire prevention.
Hon. Karimu Inusah suggested that such a good and educative program should be organized before the dry season began.
Present at the event were Mr. Dennis Osei, Assistant Director of West Gonja Municipality; Assemblymen for Attributo, Hangaline, Dass, and Lagbonto Electoral Areas; Mr. Francis Kazaari, District Manager for FSD Damongo; Mr. Ayuba Seidu, Assistant Project Manager of the Ghana Shea Landscape Emissions Reduction Project (GSLERP) and some media houses.
In a related development, the Anti-Bushfire campaign train made a stop at Kabampe, a fringe community of the Kenikeni Forest Reserve in the Bole Forest District.
Mrs. Joyce Ofori Kwafo once again educated the community on the causes and remedies for bushfires. She also sought their views on the major causes of bushfires in the community.
Participants mentioned nomadic herdsmen, mainly of Fulani descent, unknown causes, and activities of cashew farmers who burn the husks of the nuts in their farms, among others, as some of the causes of bushfires peculiar to the community.
The Chief of Kabampe, Ewura Adjafo Bakari Jinapor II , thanked the team for visiting the community to educate them on bushfire prevention. He pledged his unflinching support for the prevention of bushfires and assured that the fire volunteers in his community are ever prepared to combat bushfires and also be on the lookout for anyone who intends to cause bushfires.
He made a passionate appeal to the organizing team to visit the community quite often to interact with them and give them more education on forest protection.