Members of the Nantong-Zoo Community in the Tamale Forest District of the Northern Region, have appealed to the Forestry Commission to flush out Fulani nomadic herdsmen from forest reserves in the area.
They lamented that the activities of Fulani herdsmen are the main cause of bushfires in the forest reserves. That was because the herdsmen set fires in the reserves to burn the dry vegetation during the dry season to give way to the growth of fresh grass and leaves for their cattle to feed on. The fire then spreads to forest reserves and farms, thereby causing disaster in the area.
Reacting to this assertion by the community members, Mr. Kwasi Frimpong, the Northern Regional Manager for Forest Services Division (FSD),assured that plans will be put in place to engage the nomadic herdsmen to bring their nefarious activities in the forest reserves to an end.
This happened when the Corporate Affairs & Media Relations Unit (CAMRU) in collaboration with the Forest Services Division (FSD) and with support from the Climate Change Department (CCD), embarked on an anti-bushfire campaign in the Northern, Savanah, and North East regions of the country.
The Head of CAMRU, Mrs. Joyce Ofori Kwafo, educated the community members on the causes of bushfires and urged them to be extra vigilant in the dry season. “Fire spreads easily in the dry season because the leaves are very dry and could easily spark and spread fire”, she said.
Mrs. Kwafo also urged them to be ambassadors and spread the anti-bushfire gospel to their friends and family members who could not attend the event.
She used videos and flyers to educate the participants and presented them with T-shirts, and flyers to be used to educate other members of the community who were not present at the event.
In a related development, people from the Nyamanyma and the Taali communities in the Yendi Forest District also came on board the anti-bushfire train at an event held at Nyamanyama. The Manager for Yendi District, FSD, Mr. Joseph Appiah Frimpong, opened the program by introducing the organising team and staff of FSD.
Mrs. Joyce Ofori Kwafo gave a presentation on the causes of bushfires, using educational materials. The community members were then allowed to enumerate the causes of bushfires peculiar to their areas. They mentioned charcoal burning, activities of migrant farmers, and illegal group hunters among others, as a source of worry in the fight against bushfires.
The community was presented with T-shirts and educational materials to be used to continue the sensitisation program with their families and friends.
The Chairman of the Nyamanyama Fire Volunteers, Mr Samson Minyili, thanked the organising team for coming to their community to have that discussion with them. He promised that they will be very conscious of all the causes enumerated earlier and be very proactive in the prevention of fires in the forest reserves around them.