The Forestry Commission is unhappy about the destruction of over 100 forest reserves by fire across the country.
Out of 230 forest reserves, over 100 of them have been burnt down in the first half of this year alone with 90 percent of them being linked to human activities such as hunting, smoking.
Executive Director of Forestry Services Division of the Forestry Commission, Rapael Appiah describes the loss as the biggest in several years.
Described as the driest year in the last 10 years coupled with the long drought, many forest reserves have been razed by fire.
Reserves such as Bomfobiri in the Ashanti Region, Krokosua in the Western Region and Achimota Forest in the Greater Accra Region are few of the numerous reserves ravaged by fire.
The Forestry Commission has been assessing the extent of the damage.
But even before the assessment is completed, Mr. Appiah says almost half out of 230 forest reserves have been burnt.
“We have hunters; we have tappers, farmers who go to the farm with naked fire make their food–forget to put the fire off. We have cigarette smokers. There’s also a belief that there are natural fires coming from lighting and the rest but I will attribute 90 percent of the fire to human activities. As at now we have about 230 different forest reserves across the country but this year our records so far in terms of the assessment indicate that over 100 of the forests were affected by a fire.”
Meanwhile, the Central Region recorded the least number of bushfires over the period. Regional Forestry Manager, Ebenezer Dzagbletey attributes the feat to collaboration with the media.
Playing of jingles and increased education on some radio and television stations such as Ahomka and Atlantic FMs, Central Radio, Crystal TV, among others contributed immensely to the success.
Green lands covering less than 10 hectares were affected.
“We gave out jingles we prepared and they’ve been playing well before the fire season so I think that has helped us.
The Central region thankfully did not witness significant fire issue”, says Mr. Dzagbletey.
Ghana’s forests are on the brink of a complete wipeout. It’s perhaps time to strategize to stop it because when the last tree dies, the last man dies.