29 Truckloads Impounded In Brong Ahafo Region

Twenty-nine trucks loaded with illegal lumber have been impounded by the Goaso District office of the Forest Service Division (FSD) in the Asunafo North District in the Brong Ahafo Region. Also confiscated were 137 illegal chain saw machines, 25 Wood-Mizer and table saw motors.

This brings to more than 400 the number of chainsaw machines, Wood- Mizer and table saw motors seized in forest reserves in the area in recent times.

The Goaso District Joint Military and Rapid Response Team, in collaboration with forest guards, embarked on an exercise in four communities in the Asunafo North District this year to check the operations of illegal chainsaw operators.

The communities are Kasapin, Tipokrom, Asumura and Gambia.

The Goaso District Manager of the Forest Services Division, Mr Godfred Quashigah, made this known at a stakeholders’ meeting held at Goaso.

The meeting brought together representatives and managers of the Timber Utilisation Contraction (TUC) and the Timber Utilisation Permit (TUP) holders operating in the area, and it formed part of the strategic plans and policies outlined by the Forest Division.

Among issues discussed were measures to clamp down on activities of illegal chainsaw operators whose operations were impacting negatively on the environment.

Forest reserves

The Goaso District of the FSD, which has eight forest reserves, is the leading district with potential timber in the Brong Ahafo Region.

As a result, the district has faced numerous challenges of illegal logging, farming and chain sawing, resulting in the depletion of the reserves.

In an effort towards sustainable forest management, the Goaso District of the FSD, led by Mr Quashigah, embarked on an exercise to avert the illicit timber racketeering at Goaso and its environs.

In one of such operations at Ayomso and Akrodie, the Rapid Response Team, in collaboration with forest guards, encountered a number of illegal table sawmills.

Mr Quashigah cautioned illegal chainsaw operators to stop their illegal activities or be made to face the law.

He advised that any TUC or TUP holder found culpable would not be spared, saying “we are up to the task and will not leave any stone unturned.”

According to him, the team was currently at Asumura and its environs to check on the activities of the illegal operators, adding “having attained these achievements, we deem it fit to bring on board all the stakeholders to help eliminate the menace of timber racketeering in the district.”

Attacks

Mr Quashigah expressed worry about the numerous attacks and assaults on forestry officials by vigilante groups. He recalled how the assistant District Manager of the Goaso Forest Service Division, Ernest Adofo, was nearly killed when someone intentionally rammed his car into that of the officer.

He appealed to chiefs, politicians and assembly members to support the division to save the forest reserves.

Replanting

The assistant District Manager of the Goaso District of the FSD, Mr Ernest Adofo, who took the participants through private plantation development, encouraged the contractors to cultivate the habit of replanting trees after harvesting the timber.

The Goaso District Joint Military and Rapid Response Team, in collaboration with forest guards, embarked on an exercise in four communities in the Asunafo North District this year to check the operations of illegal chainsaw operators.

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