The Board of the Forestry Commission (FC) led by the Chairman, Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II, who is also the Paramount Chief of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area, has undertaken a day’s official tour of the Ashanti Region.
They were accompanied by Mr. Nyadia Sulemana Nelson and Hon. Musah Superior, Deputy Chief Executives; Mr. Hugh Brown, Executive Director of Forest Services Division (FSD); Mrs Joyce Ofori Kwafo, Manager, Corporate Affairs & Media Relations; Mr. Clement Omari, Manager of the Ashanti Region FSD and staff of FSD, WD and Legal Department.
The purpose of the tour was to interact with staff in the Region, visit the Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary and inspect a public – private – partnership project by Miro Plantations at Drobonso, near Kumawu.
The Team made a first stop at the Forest Services Division (FSD) office in Kumawu, where they had a brief informal interaction with staff of FSD and Wildlife Division (WD).
At Kagyaworase Camp
The Team moved to the Kagyaworase Camp of the Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary. They were introduced to the staff by Mr. Dennis Osei – Hwere, Director, Legal, who is also the Secretary to the Board.
The Manager for the Sanctuary, Mr. Fuseini Damma, gave a brief about the various attractions at the Sanctuary and the challenges staff go through in their day to day patrolling and protection duties.
Staff also voiced out their grievances, which ranged from delayed funeral grants, lack of promotion, accommodation, electricity, among others.
Nana Akosua Konadu Agyeman- Prempeh, the only female on the Board in responding to the statement by the Park Manager, congratulated staff in the Sanctuary for protecting it from illegal operators, despite the challenges they go through, which includes their limited number. She urged staff to work hard and give of their best under the present circumstances and that all the challenges enumerated will be taken up for discussion at the Board level, and will be dealt with.
She expressed her satisfaction at the provision of a clean source of water for staff in the Sanctuary.
Nana Akosua K. Agyeman – Prempeh however bemoaned the total absence of female staff at the camp and urged management to post at least two females to the Camp. This drew an applause from the all – male staff with shouts of “Ahoooya, Ahoooya !!!!!!”.
She further mentioned that requests from Park Managers for staff needs should be addressed to more than one person to ensure an effective collaboration to get the requests met. She said she was happy that the Board has met with staff to know their grievances.
Dr. Mahmoud Nassir – Deen, a member of the Board, also commended management for the vast improvement in the appearance of staff at the Camp, comparing it to the situation in which they were four years ago.
Hon. Musah Superior, Deputy Chief Executive in charge of the Wildlife Division, assured staff the Board has taken note of their grievances and they will be addressed in no time.
Mr. Richard Duah – Nsenkyire, a member of the Board, thanked the management of WD for supplying staff with new uniforms and boots. That he said, has positioned staff as professionals. He recommended public – private partnership of the various parks and sanctuaries as has been done at the Mole National Park, to inject capital into the operations of the Commission.
Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II mentioned that it was a great pleasure to be with staff at the Camp and commended the Executive Director and his Management Team for the efficient running of the Sanctuary. He assured staff that the Board will not sleep on the grievances presented but will work on it to the best of their ability. He applauded staff for their hard work, as it had reflected in the increased number of tourists to the Sanctuary.

The Team proceeded to the Wala and Yiribontire Camps of the Sanctuary, to inspect staff accommodation. Board members expressed their dissatisfaction at what they saw, and promised to provide suitable accommodation and power, through the installation of solar panels.
At Miro Plantations, the Team was welcomed by the General Manager, Mr. Coen Vermaak. He told them about the various blocks the company has in a compartment and mentioned that some of the trees are on trial plots, to see how well they will do on some particular soils.
Mr. Vermaak also informed the Team about the Company’s social interaction and outreach programmes, which are carried out once a month with the traditional council and the communities. Indigenes from the communities are also given employment opportunities.

At the Miro Processing Facility, the Team was given a safety talk before they were taken round the facility. They were taken through the various process the harvested timber from the plantations go through before it comes out as plywood for the market.
According to Dr. Menason Isac, Manager, Research & Development, the Facility has about 1,000 workers, runs three shifts a day and works seven days a week.
After the tour of the facility, the Team gathered again for a presentation on the operations of the Company. There was an interactive session after which the Management of the Company thanked the Team for the visit.