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General News of Sunday, 4 August 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Ban on hunting can help reduce bushfires - GNFS

The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has welcomed last Tuesday’s announcement by the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission (FC) to impose a temporary ban on hunting.

The Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) in charge of Rural Fires, Mr Semakor Kwaku Fiadzo, said hunting was a major cause of bushfires in the rural areas, particularly during the dry season.

He said with the dry season approaching, the ban, if enforced, can help to reduce bushfires associated with hunting.

Mr Fiadzo said this when he spoke to journalists after a planning committee meeting for the 2019/2020 National Anti-Bushfire Campaign in Accra last Thursday.

The annual ban on hunting, capturing and destroying of wild animals took effect from yesterday, August 1, 2019 and is scheduled to be lifted on December 1, 2019.

Known also as “Close Season”, the five-month ban is in conformity with the Wildlife Conservation Regulation 1971, L.I. 685, guiding wildlife conservation in the country.

“The ban is in order because most bushfires are a result of either bush hunting or palm-wine tapping.

“Hunters sometimes set fires intentionally to trap animals. We will enter the dry season very soon and so the imposition and enforcement of the ban will help to reduce bushfires,” Mr Fiadzo said.

National anti-bushfire campaign

Mr Fiadzo, who chairs the committee spearheading the 2019/2020 anti-bushfire campaign, said preparation towards the commencement of the annual campaign was on course.

He said the meeting, held behind closed doors, deliberated on the date, venue, budget, sources of funding and implements required for the campaign.

DCFO Fiadzo said although the committee agreed to launch the anti-bushfire campaign in October this year, it was yet to decide on a specific venue to host the event.

On the issue of funding, he said a sub-committee had been constituted to prepare a budget and propose ways the committee could mobilise the needed funds to undertake the campaign.

Train volunteers

Mr Fiadzo said the campaign would seek to train 20,000 volunteers in fire-fighting to support efforts by the GNFS to reduce bushfires by 60 per cent.

He appealed to corporate organizations to assist the committee with funds as it intends to embark on a vibrant campaign across the country this year.

“Fire fighting is a shared responsibility. We need other institutions, including the media, to get on board to help sustain the campaign in the interest of protecting lives and properties and preserving the country’s resources,” he said.