S/R: Savannah Region House of Chiefs affirms ban on illegal tree felling, small scale mining

The Savannah Region House of Chiefs has in a press release in the early hours of Monday, May 10, 2021, at the Jakpa Palace in Damongo in the West Gonja Municipality of the Savannah Region reaffirmed the ban placed on illegal mining and tree felling for the purposes of logging and commercial charcoal burning in the Region.

The release read by Bole-Wura Sarfo Kutuge Feso I, acknowledged that it will be hopeless if the leadership of the House of Chiefs and Government in the Region will pretend to allow these devastating and merciless environmental collapse activities to go on in the Region.

He disclosed that twenty-one million, eight hundred and ninety-four thousand, one hundred and eighty ( 21,894,180 ) trees are destroyed annually in twenty-one ( 21 ) Paramountcies in the Region with zero corresponding tree planting activities.

He said any carriage of charcoal, logs, and fuelwood in commercial quantities after the 10th of May, 2021 out of the Savannah Region will attract penalties. A bag of charcoal he said will attract a Gh¢ 5 penalty whereas a container of logs will attract a penalty sum of Gh¢ 5000 while the vehicle carrying the products will attract a penalty sum of Gh¢ 1000.

He assured the youth, men and women, the aged, chiefs and stakeholders in the Region of the leadership of the Savannah Region House of Chiefs commitment and resolve to nib the environmental canker in the bud while announcing that the ban on the activities herein will completely come to close on 30th May, 2021 in the Savannah Region.

This ban by the Savannah Region House of Chiefs follows a subsequent ban on these illegal activities herein on March 30th, 2021 by the Savannah Regional Coordinating Council acting through the minister.

The Savannah Regional Minister, Hon. Saeed Muazu Jibril at the time gave the perpetrators of the activities a one-month duration to leave the Region following grave predictions of doom by Environmentalists on the destruction of the few forest reserves in the Region.

Below is the presser read by Bole-Wura Safo Kutuge Feso I.

THE SAVANNAH REGION HOUSE OF CHIEFS

PRESENTS TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND THE MEDIA A PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE BAN OF ILLEGAL LOGGING, COMMERCIAL CHARCOAL BURNING, COMMERCIAL FUEL WOOD HARVESTING, AND ILLEGAL SMALL SCALE MINING IN THE SAVANNAH REGION AT THE JAKPA PALACE ON 10TH MAY, 2021

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with boredom and sadness that the House of Chiefs addresses the general public and the media on matters of environmental concern in respect of illegal logging, commercial charcoal burning, commercial fuelwood harvesting, and illegal small-scale mining activities in the Savannah Region.

It will be hopeless if the leadership of the House of Chiefs and Government in the Region will pretend to allow these ill, unfriendly, mordant, heart burning, barbaric, devastating, merciless environmental collapse activities to go on in the Region.

Ladies and gentlemen, if 21 Paramountcies in a year out of these activities will lose about 21,894,180 tress in our poor ecosystem with zero corresponding tree planting activities within a year, do we deserve to stay on to allow such activities to continue? Certainly No. With this trend of environmental degradation activities in five years, how many trees will be gone?

The leadership of the Region has been accused, called all sort of names, mentioned in songs produced by musicians, discuss in different fora on all social platforms in the Region. Enough is Enough.

The Regional House want to assure the task forces formed, the youth, men and women, the aged, chiefs, children, friends and love ones in the Savannah Region that the leadership of the house is awake and will everything possible within our means to nib the environmental canker in the bud.

The Regional House, therefore, invites all hands on deck to efficiently enforce the ban to achieve its objectives. Everybody in the Savannah Region is a task force.

Ladies and gentlemen, the communique released and presented to the Hon. Regional Minister of the Savannah Region on the 28th of April, 2021 with all its conditions and term are effective and applied. The task force should work in line with the terms and conditions of the communique to sanitize the environment.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the House of Chiefs want to clearly put on record that the ban on illegal logging, commercial charcoal burning, commercial fuelwood harvesting, and illegal small-scale mining activities in the Savannah Region effective 10th May 2021 has been banned. Any carriage of charcoal, logs, and fuelwood in commercial quantities after 10th of May, 2021 out of the Savannah Region will attract penalties.

Every bag of charcoal will attract Gh¢ 5.00 penalty charge per bag. A container of logs will attract Gh¢ 5000.00 penalty charge. The vehicle carrying the products will attract Gh¢ 1000.00 penalty charge. Ladies and gentlemen, the ban on illegal logging, commercial charcoal burning, commercial fuelwood harvesting, and illegal small-scale mining activities will completely come to a close on 30th May 2021 in the Savannah Region.

After 30th of May, 2021, any carriage of goods of such products shall be confiscated and offloaded at a defined dumping ground. The decision on the confiscated items shall be taken by the committee of the Savannah Region House of Chiefs headed by Bole-Wura Sarfo Kutuge Feso I with effect from 30th May 2021. All exit points in the Savannah Region after 30th May 2021 shall effectively be blocked.

Ladies and gentlemen, the frequent question that will be asked is – what happens to the livelihood of those sector actors? Let’s take advantage of the Government’s planting for food and jobs program, green Ghana, or arbor day program of Government and agriculture with vast lands in the Savannah Region while the House of Chiefs put a livelihood project together to support the situation.

The mind-blogging question is this, prior to these activities, what were we engaged in as a people? It is time to quickly revisit those businesses and wake them up for our livelihood.

Ladies and gentlemen, the House of Chiefs wish to thank the paramount chiefs and their subjects for the quick formation of task forces in the Traditional areas to win the fight in favour of the environment.

The Savannah Region, therefore, is calling on all sons and daughters of the infant Region to support – agenda stop illegal logging, commercial charcoal burning, commercial fuelwood harvesting, and illegal small-scale mining activities in the Savannah Region.

SIGN

BOLEWURA

SARFO KUTUGE FESO I

PARAMOUNT CHIEF OF BOLE

(COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN)

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