Sissala East Municipal :Aggrieved Community Members Hijack a Forest Reserve for Farming and Threatens Mayhem.

A group of aggrieved community members have invaded a forest reserve in their community  and have cut down trees covering about three acrages of land in preparation for this year’s farming season.

Aggrieved persons hailing from Chinchan ,a farming community located in the newly inuguarated Sissala East Municipal in the Upper West Region of Ghana. This comunity members who owns a stretch of land serving as a forest reserve  for more than 43 years till now havd have announced a seizure of the reserve for reseaons that,the District forestry manager Mr.Jasper and some of his cronies (forest guards) have being using the reserve as a gold mines by,allowing in loggers to harvest rosewood.Somewhere last two weeks, illegal loggers were spoted in the reserve harvesting the much talked about rosewood spiecies and when caught and interrogated,were told that, they (illegal loggers ) had the permission of the District forestry manager  to carry out the felling of rosewood. According to the community members,the irony of the whole issue is that,some forest guards who are being paid by the state to protect the vegetation are also alleged have being conniving with illegal loggers and sometimes physically seen supervising. This then infuriated the community members and hence their decision to take back their land for farming since; they have already being suffering due to shortage of land for cultivation. The aggrieved community members speaking to Radford Fm in Tumu have stated that,the seizure of the forest reserve stems from the corupt and unprofessional conduct of the District Forestry commission manager and his cronies.

Members of the community also revealed to the public through Radford Fm correspondent Mr.David Luri that,years back women who went into the forest reserve to fetch firewood and those who went in for herbs were arrested and made to pay fine. They also added that,on some occasions ,loggers were arrested by community members and sent to authorities but,to their surprise were later set free ostensibly after paying bribes.To them,all these has culminated into them venting their anger and hence cutting down of trees in the forest reserve in preparation for farming this season.

The spokes person for the aggrieved community members, Mr.Ahmed Hor sounded a caution to the forest guards not to avail themselves in the forest reserve for their safety could not be guaranteed by the community and have since vowed not relent on their efforts to reclaim their land back should the pepertrators not be transfered from the Municipal.

When this source contacted the District Forestry Manger to hear his side of the happenings,he denied giving permission to any body to go into the reserve not alone harvestrosewood. He further stated that,if indeed any decision of that sort was taken by his outfit then,is tantamount  to unprofessional discharge of duty.

There have being mass protest to the presence of illegal loggers some purporting to have permits to salvage lying logs when in reality,the are no lying rosewood logs. This has being seen by well-meaning people as a deliberate ploy to compensate party loyalists with permits to destroy the fragile vegetative cover.

 

 

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