Government has been told to extend the ruthless fight against ‘galamsey’ menace in to illegal rosewood harvesting in Upper West, Upper East and Northern regions where large tracts of forest cover are ruined and the environment degraded.
The erratic rainfall pattern in northern Ghana affecting agriculture had been blamed on the massive invasion of the forest by unscrupulous people in search of rosewood trees.
Mr Abu Kabiebata Kansangbata, Acting Executive Director of Savannah Development Policy Think Tank, has therefore called on government machinery to marshal the same forces and commitment as done during the fight against illegal mining to deal ruthlessly with the perpetrators of wanton destruction of forest cover in northern Ghana.
Mr Kansangbata who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Wa on Wednesday said the time had come for government to stop paying lip service to the issue and take concrete actions that would arrest the problem at once.
He urged government to form an anti-rosewood task force just like it did for the ‘galamsey’ fight, arguing it was the only way the fight could be won and not just by mere issuing of ban without backing it up with action.
“All the time successive governments issue notice of ban on rosewood harvesting and yet the practice is going on deep in the forest”, he said and stressed that this was unacceptable.
He appealed to Members of Parliament (MPs) from the north to treat the issue as urgent and argue it at the floor of parliament to add more weight to the issue for government to pay more attention to it.
The Upper West Region House of Chiefs, he said, should also stamp their authority by ensuring that they flushed out chainsaw operators working in their communities to help save the wanton destruction of the environment.
Mr. Kansangbata expressed worry that activities of the chainsaw operators had started affecting the Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary in the Wa West District which was raking in lots of revenue for development.
“This asset must not be allowed to be destroyed by these self-seeking chainsaw operators”, he said.