“The Upper West Region is a fragile ecological zone, seriously threatened by the aggressive climate change and desertification making life extremely difficult for the inhabitants of this region,” the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of the region has revealed.
This according to the party, is what led to the banning of the Felling and Transportation of Rosewood out of the region by the Upper West Regional Security Council (REGSEC) July, 2016.
This was disclosed during a Press Conference organised by the party’s Communication Team Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at the party’s regional office in Wa.
Addressing the media, Mr. Issah Kantagyeri, the Regional Communications Officer of the party, alleged that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government “clandestinely” gave out permits to people, claiming they were only to cart those that had already been fellled during the “Planting for Food and Jobs” program. But this, he debunked, arguing those permits were given out to the contractors in 2017, when the “Planting for Food and Jobs” program had not yet started.
“The New Patriotic Party clandestinely granted permits for salvaging of rosewood allegedly fell during the implementation of the “Planting for Food and Jobs” program that was yet to take off as of the time of granting the permits to the rosewood contractors in 2017. Mr. President, we wish to draw your attention to the continuous harvesting of rosewood in the region”, he alleged.
Mr. Issah further added that it was the hope of the NDC that the President would not “as usual claim” government was not in the know about the devastation of the environment in the Upper West Region due to the felling of the rosewood trees.
Commending the president, Nana Akufo-Addo, for what they said was a “spirited fight against illegal mining”, they also urged the president to extend same attitude, enthusiasm and all seriousness, in the fight against the harvesting of the rosewood trees in the region.
They also cautioned the bad elements within the region who aid perpetrators of the illegal venture to desist from the shameful act while calling on the youth to stand against the devastation of the environment.
“We equally call on the Chiefs, Landlords, and Assembly Members who connive with these illegal rosewood harvesters to desist from engaging in those illegal activities”, he warned.
The Communication Officer ended by suggesting that: “government can engage the Invisible Forces, Cybog Forces, Kandaha Boys and their likes in the protection of the environment rather than the mayhem these vigilante groups visit on innocent and law abiding Ghanaians”.
It would be recalled that the three northernmost regions have been faced with the serious devastation of their ecological zones following the felling of a special type of wood – rosewood – said to be in high demand overseas especially, Asia.
This has led to the influx of these so-called contractors with their trucks in the rural areas who allegedly take advantage of the poverty in these rural areas, to lure some Chiefs, Assembly Members, Unit Committee Members and Landlords, with peanuts to continue to aggravate the already endangered environment due to the many decades of negative environmental practices.
But these natives, oblivious of the dangers the felling of these trees would have on the environment, the people themselves and generations yet unborn, rather succumb to these companies choosing to satisfy their greediness and self-centeredness at the expense of the larger society.
The law enforcement agencies, many of the locals believe, are helpless as many of these contractors come with their right documents from “above”.
Upper West NDC