The Sissala East Municipal Assembly is considering imposing huge levies on charcoal transporters and merchants who visit the Municipality to cart truckloads of charcoal to other parts of the country.
The Assembly hopes that the huge levies would be a disincentive to the transporters and sellers as well as make charcoal unattractive to buyers because of the high prices.
Speaking at 8th Meet the Press Series at Tumu in the Sissala East Municipality, the MCE for the area, Karim Nanyua said over the years, the traditional way of addressing the issue of charcoal burning had not worked effectively thus the need to be innovative to protect the environment.
“This time, we are not tackling our people who do the business [charcoal burning], we want to tackle the business men who buy this charcoal so that we can put a heavy levy on them,” he said.
Mr. Nanyua intimated that once the charcoal merchant were able to sell their wares, they would always find ways of getting the commodity despite the laws preventing the felling of certain tree species for charcoal burning.
The MCE assured the public that once the issue is tackled from “the demand side rather than the supply side,” the transportation of several trucks of charcoal each day from the Sissala East area would cease.
On the issue of fertilizer smuggling, the MCE said although allegations had been màde that the situation persists, no proof could be provided to substantiate the claims.
Mr. Nanyua said despite the claims that fertilizer smuggling exists in the Sissala East Municipality, the interest and investment in agriculture on the part of private entities continue to grow.
Responding to questions from journalists on how the Assembly hopes to address the issue of stray animals, the MCE for Sissala East Municipality mentioned that bye laws have been drafted and forwarded to the Regional Coordinating Council for onward submission to the Attorney General’s Department.
For his part, the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Amidu Chinnia Issahaku said the Meet the Press Series’ provide a prime opportunity for government to be accountable to the citizens.
Mr. Chinnia Issahaku stated that if “government is not accountable to the people; our [Ghana’s] democracy is threatened” thus the need for all MMDAs across the country to meet the press and give account of their stewardship.
The Deputy Minister urged the media to remain circumspect in their reportage of issues.
Mr. Chinnia Issahaku mentioned that government’s commitment to develop the country is absolute thus the implementation of several projects and intervention to empower the citizens economically.
Story filed by Mark Smith