Some youth of Tumu town accosted an articulator truck fully loaded with Rose wood leaving the township within the Kassana Road in Tumu, Sissala East District of Upper West.
The action of the youth emanated from the recent re-ban of harvesting, transportation and exportation of rosewood following public outcry.
Minutes after stopping the truck and trying to offload the pieces of wood from the truck was opposed by a team of police persons driving in a vehicle with registered number GP 3164 belonging to the Ghana police Service.
According to an Eyewitness Ayamga Bawa Fatawu who happens to be a journalist, The police intimidated the youth by threatening to shoot anyone of them who dares to stop the transportation of the rosewood.
The police has vowed to facilitate the banned activities of rosewood logging for their purported self-centered interest.
Ban on Rosewood Harvest
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources from 11/03/2019 re-echoed on the ban of harvesting, transporting and exporting of rosewood.
Based on this, the ministry has charged on the locals whose areas have become fertile grounds for these activities to fight off loggers of the rosewood species. He added that, locals could impound trucks loaded with rosewood if spotted in their jurisdiction with assistance of the security agencies.
The Ministry has directed the Forestry Commission to suspend the processing of all sorts of permits including so-called salvage permits for the harvesting, transporting and exporting of rosewood.
As at August 2017, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources had permitted 25 companies to salvage rosewood from the Brong-Ahafo, Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions.
A ban was first placed on the harvesting, transportation, export, sale or processing of rosewood in the country in 2014.
China is noted as a major destination of felled rosewood where it is highly valued and used for antique-style furniture.
But currently, some companies are said to be harvesting feeling fresh rosewood logs from the fragile vegetative cover of the Savannah woodland in the three northern regions of Ghana. Worse of it, others in this business without permits but with connivance and condoning of forestry officials.
The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, believes the ban is necessary for ridding the industry of all illegal activities endangering the ecology of northern Ghana, where rosewood felling is rampant.
“Note that salvage permits were issued only for the evacuation of lying logs. Any fresh harvesting of rosewood trees is illegal and must be reported for the immediate arrest of the culprit,” Mr. Asomah-Cheremeh said.
He also said the issues surrounding rosewood had become “a national security threat” and appealed to the public to “to support the ministry in our efforts to regulate the exploitation of natural resources in this country.”
This call was necessitated after a joynews tv documentary on the dastardly acts created as a result of rosewood harvesting in the Upper East and Upper West.
By: Ayamga Bawa Fatawu