The Savannah Regional House of Chiefs has placed a ban on illegal logging, commercial charcoal burning, commercial fuelwood harvesting and illegal small-scale mining activities within the region effective 10th May 2021.
According to the chiefs, any carriage of charcoal, logs, and fuelwood in commercial quantities, after 10th May 2021 which is moved out of the region will attract penalties. “Every bag of charcoal will attract GHS 5.00 penalty charge per bag. A container of logs will attract a GHS5000 penalty charge. The vehicle carrying the products will attract GHS 1000 penalty charge,” portion of a statement from the House of Chiefs read.
The statement noted that if the ban is not enforced, the region will lose 21,894,180 trees within a year due to such illegal activities which has seen most of their forest areas depleted.
The statement advised residents of the region engaged in these activities for commercial purposes to divert their energies and take advantage of the vast land in the region to engage in agriculture taking into cognizant the government’s planting for food and jobs programme.
Below is the full statement from the chiefs:
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 address 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 trees 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 of our 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 taskforces 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 do everything possible within our means to nib the environmental canker in the bud.
The Regional House, therefore, invite 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 terms are effective and applied. The taskforce 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 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 the 10th of May, 2021 out of the Savannah Region will attract penalties. Every bag of charcoal will attract GHS 5.00 penalty charge per bag. A container of logs will attract GHS 5000.00 penalty charge. The vehicle carrying the products will attract GHS 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 confiscated items shall be taken by the committee of the Savannah Region House of Chiefs headed by Bolewura 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 government’s planting for food and jobs program, green Ghana of government and agriculture with vase lands in the Savannah Region whiles the House of Chiefs put a livelihood project together to support the situation.
The mind-boggling 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
As we endeavor to achieve success for our ecosystem, the House of chiefs wish you well, grant you strength, and the commitment it takes to fight this course. Good luck God bless Savannah Region.