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Regional News of Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Source: My News GH

Gonja Traditional Council issues a week’s ultimatum to illegal loggers

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The Gonja Traditional Council has issued a week’s ultimatum to all illegal loggers to vacate forest reserves in the area or incur their wrath.

In a release signed by the Paramount Chief of Gonjaland Yagbonwura Tuntumba Bore Essa I, it indicated that loggers must immediately convey their logs and charcoal from Gonja forests between April 24, 2017 and May 23, 2017.

He called on government agencies including District Assemblies, security agencies and traditional authorities within the area to support and enforce the directive to the latter warning that anybody who goes contrary will be dealt with within the precincts of the law.

Gonja Traditional Area has been exposed to uncontrolled and indiscriminate cutting down of rosewoods, especially in the last six years by some illegal chainsaw operators for export to China and for charcoal production.

This in a large extent has resulted in the depletion of the forest cover and change in the climate condition in the area.

The lumbers who claim to have legal permits from the authorities for their operations have succeeded in cutting down almost every single rosewood in the Damongo, Bole, Bamboi, Mole area, Daboya, Abromase, Busunu, Buipe, Yapei and other Gonja areas under the watch of the immediate past government led by John Dramani Mahama. Several fully loaded articulator trucks are always seen transporting the woods every passing day against the will of majority of the Gonja youth.

The trees are being cut without replacement and movements of forklifts, tractors and articulator trucks in the forest has degraded the lands and created several unapproved roads in the forest.

As if that is not enough, majority of the inhabitants in Gonjaland especially the women are heavily engaged in charcoal burning and fetching of firewood in commercial quantities. They transport the charcoal to Kumasi, Sunyani, Takoradi and Accra and they indiscriminately cut down every tree as well as sheanuts and other commercial trees for the charcoal business.

However, the King of Gonjaland, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Bore Essa I has warned that those who defy the ultimatum will be arrested and prosecuted.

Recently at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Gonja Traditional Council at Yapei in the Central Gonja District of the Northern Region, the King called for the support of the various District Assemblies, the law enforcement agencies, the forestry commission, the traditional authorities and the youth groups to ensure the full implementation and enforcement of ban.

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