The Savannah Regional House of Chiefs has resolved that Commercial charcoal burning, illegal logging, commercial harvesting of fuel wood and illegal small scale mining activities in the Savannah Region have been banned effective Monday, 10th May, 2021.
This is contained in a Communique signed by the Chairman of a five eminent Chiefs Committee who were selected by the Savannah Regional House Chiefs and under the Chairmanship of the Paramount Chief of the Bole Traditional area Bolewura Sarfo Kutuge Feso (I).
Bolewura Kutuge Feso (I) was selected to chair a committee of Chiefs as part of the outcome of the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs dialogue on Commercial Charcoal burning, sustainable small scale mining practices and combating indiscriminate rosewood harvesting in the Savannah Region at Damongo on 21st April, 2021 and other members of the committee include Mankpanwura Jakpa Achor- Ade Borenyi (Vice Chairman), Yapeiwura Dr ABT Zakaria, Gbenapewura Shunbore Mahama Sakan, Nnaa Dr. Agba Jaaga Gbanpewa Koro of Mo Traditional area and the Registrar of the Gonja Traditional Council (Secretary).
The Communique of the Bolewura Committee dated 28th April, 2021 which was copied to the Savannah Regional Minister, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and other stakeholders said; “Illegal logging, commercial charcoal burning, commercial fuel wood harvesting and illegal small scale mining activities in the Savannah Region have become a bane on the citizenry of the Region”
It added; “These activities have resulted in the wanton depletion of the environmental cover and a survey conducted in five paramountcies revealed that about 1,042,580 trees are destroyed within a year.
“These tree plants lost include but not limited to the Shea, the Dawadawa, the rosewood, the kapok trees and other medicinal and economic trees in the wild, are harvested with impunity.
“The data therefore points out that within a year among the 21 paramountcies in the Region loses about 21,894,180 trees in a year. Should we as a people sit and watch the destruction of the environmental cover to continue?”
It is in this regard “the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs has resolved that Commercial charcoal burning, illegal logging, commercial harvesting of fuel wood and illegal small scale mining activities in the Savannah Region have been banned effective Monday, 10th May, 2021”; the Communique said.
Other measures taken by the Committee of the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs says after 10th of May, 2021 through to 30th of May, 2021 any truck or vehicle conveying charcoal from the Savannah Region and lands of Savannah Region lying outside the Region will attract a penalty of five Ghana Cedis only per bag of charcoal and that any vehicle after the 10th of May 2021 to the 30th of May 2021 conveying logs from the Savannah Region or from lands of Savannah Region lying outside the Region will attract five thousand Ghana Cedis penalty per load.
The Communique of the Committee further stated that any vehicle conveying logs or charcoal after 10th of May, 2021 will attract One thousand Ghana Cedis only for making available the vehicle for conveyance.
“The ban on illegal logging, commercial charcoal burning and commercial fuel wood harvesting in the Savannah Region and all its accompanying matters will come to a complete ban on Sunday 30th of May, 2021. Any other transaction on these matters without following the appropriate process shall not be allowed and or valid in the Savannah Region”; it stated.
The Communique from the Savannah Region House of Chiefs Committee further stated that every paramount chief should as a matter of urgency form a taskforce in line with the composition of the taskforce spelt out in this communique in his jurisdiction to support the ban to achieve its set goals and report same to the Regional House of Chiefs and that the taskforce to ensure this shall comprise Chiefs, Assemblies, Forestry Commission unit and the Security in the Region.
The Bolewura Sarfo Kutuge Feso (I) Committee also said the Tuluwewura, Paramount chief of the Tuluwe division of Gonja should duly communicate to all Gonja communities outside the Region about the full force of this ban and act concurrently with the ban.
The Communique of the Committee said;
“The following exit points following the ban shall continue to ensure that these products never find their way out and these exits points include; Buipe, Bamboi, Mankango, Kpembe, Sankpala, Jama and Mankarigu and that at any exit points, the paramount chief and his taskforce if they confiscate charcoal or logs materials shall lodge with the paramountcy with its taskforce 60% of the proceeds and lodge 40% of proceeds to the Regional House of Chiefs”.
The Communique also said; “The Bolewura Sarfo Kutuge Feso committee in due course will submit a tentative report on small scale mining activities in the Region and also prescribe strategy to address matters of chainsaw and sawmilling operations in the Region to fully streamline the industry’s activities to conform with the laws of the Republic of Ghana”.