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Regional News of Saturday, 30 April 2005

Source: GNA

Inhabitants bemoan illegal felling of teak in Asubina Reserve

Techiman (B/A), April 30, GNA - Concerned inhabitants have raised an outcry over the continued illegal felling of teak trees in the Asubina Forest Reserve in Techiman Municipality by some unscrupulous timber men.

Mr John Kwasi Kwao, Assembly Member of Baamiri in an interview with the Ghana News Agency expressed concern about the situation as the Reserve was being degraded fast by their activities.

Mr. Kwao, a member of the Techiman Municipal Assembly's Timber Task Force said all efforts to arrest the illegal chainsaw operators had failed as the timber men operated at night.

He said members of the illegal syndicate had adopted sophisticated methods using mobile phones to monitor the movements of the Task Force and had been able to escape arrest.

"Sources have confirmed that the teak dealers use mobile phones with which they communicated to their friends and it has therefore become very difficult to arrest them", the Assembly Member added. Mr. Kwao suggested to the Forestry Commission to allocate all teak trees in the Reserve to timber contractors to fell since the illegal operations were rather raping the country of revenue. The Assembly Member alleged that some youth in the area were involved in the illegal operations in the Reserve and it was a common practice among the unemployed.

Mr. Kwao asked officials of the Forestry Commission and the law enforcement agencies to be fair and firm in checking the practice. 30 April 05